The announcer stands at the podium in her shimmering dress. She holds the envelope, looking out at the auditorium full of glitterati. Finally, she speaks.
“And the Oscar goes to…”
And then there’s that moment:
The crowd hushes. The announcer fumbles with the envelope. Breaks the seal. Withdraws the card. Anticipation fills the air. Whose name will be called?
In that two or three seconds between “the Oscar goes to” and the announcement of the winner, everything’s in limbo. Everything’s on pause.
As a single Catholic in Hollywood, that’s kind of how life feels sometimes too. Like I’m living in that moment of anticipation, like my destiny is on pause, waiting to be revealed. I know what’s come before, but I have no idea what’s ahead.
I’m a TV writer, which is another way of saying I don’t work for long stretches at a time. One day you can be making good money doing what you love. The next, your show gets cancelled and you’re living off residuals for months.
I’ve been in Hollywood for a decade now. I’ve worked as a “background artist” (an extra) on set. I’ve assisted producers. I’ve been cursed, screamed at, and forced to wash cars and polish silverware. I’ve also had the joy of seeing my scripts produced. But when each project wraps, the uncertainty returns. What happens next? I’m stuck on pause again.
An uncertain future
Being single is the same way. We know where we’ve been, but we don’t know what’s coming. Will we meet someone? If so, when? Will we get married and have a family? Or be celibate for the rest of our lives? We’re just waiting…
Living in the pause can be hard. But it can also be good. As Catholics, we know we’re not alone. We have a Source of strength and peace to draw upon to carry us through the uncertainty. It forces us to rely on God more than we otherwise might. We’re facing the unknown so we have no choice but to trust Him to take care of us. It’s a place where faith grows.
I think it can also be thrilling. Just think of that moment when the Oscar announcer is about to reveal the winner. What do we feel in that moment? A sense of excitement. Of possibility. It’s the same when we’re living in the pause with God. Something wonderful could always be just around the corner. And with God, whatever’s around the corner is for our good.
On Oscar night, the announcer eventually reveals the winner and the room erupts in applause. The pause is lifted and we celebrate (or complain that our favorite didn’t win). One day, we’ll know the outcome of our lives as single Catholics too.
But not today. Today we’re living in that moment of hushed anticipation. But that’s OK. It’s not a bad place to be.