“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.”
A few years ago I decided to re-read the Time series as an adult. I’d read it as an 11-year-old child, but figured there was so much more to be discovered if I read it now. So much of it was the same as I remembered it – Charles Wallace was as adorable as I had remembered. Some things were a little new – Calvin was more endearing than I had remembered. And then there were things that had flown above my head because I wasn’t aware of what it was actually saying.
As soon as I’d read Mrs. Whatsit’s words, I circled it in my book and wrote, in all caps, “GOD’S WILL.” There’s a bit more to the quote when you put it in the context, but essentially Mrs. Whatsit talks about how a sonnet has rules. It has to have a specific meter and rhyme structure to be a sonnet. Those are non-negotiable if the writing is to be classified as such.
But within those limitations, you have the freedom to say whatever you want.
God’s heart is revealed in the Old Testament and reaffirmed in the New through the person of Jesus. Love. Love each other. Love the widow. Love the outcast. Love the alien. Love your neighbor. Love the Lord. Love your enemies.
The structure of God’s sonnet is simple. The meter and rhyme is LOVE. Within it we have every opportunity to say what we want.
So long as I am looking at every opportunity, choice and trespass through the prayerful lens of LOVE, I am abiding in God’s will. I’ve wasted too many years in paranoid prayer over God’s will, never wanting to fall off the tightrope of being “in God’s will,” because nobody ever really instructed me on how to get back in it.
This part of A Wrinkle in Time, plus many e-mails and conversations I’d been having about God’s will helped me get over my fear of not abiding in it. They started the tune that helped me dance from living life as a Choose Your Own Adventure with only one “right” outcome to a place where God and I are co-creators of love, adapting to the choices of others and bathing under the light of grace.
Do I think we can still fall out of God’s will? Absolutely; when we look “this way and that,” as Moses did before killing the Egyptian, but not looking up into the eyes of Love. When we hold grudges and choose to water the seeds of bitterness in our hearts. When we make choices that only make sense when viewed through the lens of vanity and earthly success. But the detour back to the will of Love is always simple: a humble heart, willing to acknowledge missteps and arms wide open, ready to receive grace.