This article was written by Rev. Janice Krause, the Priest-in Charge at
St. James’ Episcopal Church in Austin, and a frequent speaker and retreat leader.
Have you ever read the children’s book A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle? In the book, the main characters take a journey, one that involves crossing vast amounts of space, and time. To accomplish this feat in less than a few moments of perceived Earth time, they learn how to step across a fold or wrinkle, in time and space, to reach their destination in just a few steps.
The book is being turned into a movie by Walt Disney pictures and will feature stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and others. In preparation for the March opening, my husband and I recently decided to read the book for the first time. While I am not normally a sci-fi/fantasy reader, the theology and concept of a wrinkle in time captivated me.
Travel to far off space and time is achieved simply by taking a step across that wrinkle. It’s not something that is easy to do, and it comes at a price of more than a little discomfort. In fact, the discomfort means that you may have to give up some cherished feature of life. But to get to where and when you want to go, it is necessary.
This is New Year’s weekend. Tomorrow we’ll be celebrating the dawn of a new year, a new calendar, a new page. We’ve been celebrating New Year’s thousands of years. It’s a common feature of many societies and religions. The month, January is named after Janus, the god of two faces. One face looks back, and you guessed it, the other face looks forward. This is a time to review what’s past and plan for the future. Are you one of the folks who make New Year’s resolutions? Did you know that only 8% of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions? Many of these resolutions are to lose weight, exercise more, quit drinking, quit smoking, save money….
What if, this year, we all make a different kind of resolution? One that focuses on our attitude, how we treat others and ourselves? What if we worked to respect the dignity of every human being? To seek and serve what is divine in each one of us? What if, in the coming year, we all try to take our own steps across what divides us and what keeps us apart? What if each one of us made a very conscious decision to step across a wrinkle in religion? While our differences are not inconsequential, they do enrich us. There is much that we can and should learn from one another.
As L’Engle writes, “You see, though we travel together, we travel alone.” We are in this together, yet it is up to each one of us to make the world a better place. To smooth out discord, to eradicate injustices, to provide hope for future generations, for many, many New Years to come. Let it begin with me? Yes. But also with you. And you. And each one of us.
May our New Year’s resolutions find all of us stepping across the wrinkles of religion, space, and time. And in doing so, may we find the joy of discovery, the peace of common ground, and the hope of a beautiful New Year!