Wisdom from Writers: Reflections on work and identity based on Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, Chapter 2

Quick summary of chapter 2:

Meg returns to school the next day after the eventful stormy night. She is rude to her teacher after she can’t answer a question correctly and is sent to the principal. He challenges her about her father’s absence and encourages her to “face facts” about his absence. When Meg comes home from school she goes for a walk with her brother, Charles Wallace. In the woods they meet Calvin, a boy from Meg’s high school who has had a compulsion to go visit the local haunted house. The three of them arrive at the house, where they meet Mrs. Whatsit and her friend, Mrs. Who. The three children are told that they will be helping Meg’s missing father, but that it is not time yet.

Last year, almost exactly this time, I had a compulsion to sign up for a writing class that I saw advertised on Twitter, offered by a stranger. I was following this stranger, Elora, because we both attended a conference in Austin the previous year - which I also found out about through Twitter. Those are probably the only things I’ve ever signed up through Twitter - but I had a compulsion.

Compulsions are helpful for me in my business. There are just some people I have a good feeling about, and I try to stay near them to benefit from their wisdom. I look for people who are intentional with their time and more interested in being helpful than the appearance of success. Many of my friends are faithful about reminding me that it’s so much more important to trust God than worry about what people think of me.

Another important part of trusting God is waiting. I imagine that Meg hears that it’s not time yet to help her father, and she’s frustrated. It’s been over a year since he’s been gone, and why would she want to wait anymore if she is able to do something to help.

Waiting is hard. I think that my timing is best with the facts that I have, but I don’t have all the facts. God is the one who knows the big picture, and I don’t.

One of my favorite quotes about trusting God and his timing is from Walking on Water, another book by Madeleine L'Engle: "In our daily living the actions we choose, from within our own skins, as the best possible under the circumstances, may well turn out to have been the wrong ones. Something we regret at the time as abysmally stupid may well end up being the one thing needed under the circumstances. We are trapped in un-knowing." The same also goes for what we think are our best choices. We may think that we are choosing well, but it may be the wrong time or wrong place. We just don't know.

But God knows the whole plan. His plan will always work out, and ourselves and our mistakes will be beautifully woven into the pattern of creation.