Thursday, August 29, 2013

Not So Unpredictable

I remember a year or two ago, I was e-mailing with one of my friends from school.  She asked me which song I thought best described me.

Well, guess what this then-immature twelve-year-old chose?  (Don't get me wrong.  I'm still immature.  I'm just less immature than I was a year ago)

"Unpredictable," by Francesca Battistelli.

Okay, so Battistelli is talking about God.  She's saying that nobody ever expects what God has for them around the corner, and that He's unpredictable--at least to us.  I liked (and still like) thinking of myself that way.  Unpredictable.  Nobody knows what I'll do, nobody knows when I'll do, until I've done it.  Unpredictable.

Well, guess who recently learned that she wasn't unpredictable?

I've just realized that I am NOT an unpredictable person.  Sometimes I'm wacky weird, like when I play Monopoly and I employ some extraneous business tactic on my family that none of them had ever heard of before, probably because my ideas are a lot of times so outrageous that they never work.  (Just to let you know, I won the last Monopoly game we played)  

There was also a time that I imagined I could make a lock for a diary out of a plastic, empty spool of thread.  Of course, I never got around to doing it.

So my point is, I'm predictable.  How do I explain myself?  In some ways I'm unpredictable, like when it comes to board games.  In other ways...not so much.

Like recently.  I popped out of homeschooling and will get into the public high school swing of things.  So much paperwork, so much time and effort.  So many complications.  Like how I wanted to be in Biology Honors but somehow wound up with Biology instead, and I had to go talk to my counselor, with whom five other people had already addressed the same issue.  And I won't fully know my class schedule, and my teachers, and everything, until at 7:15 on the first day of school.  And it's driving me nuts right now, because at my other school, we learned everything three days before.  We had a full-on Orientation at my other school, with teachers pitching us their classes and handing us syllabi and letting us know what materials and things to bring to their class on the first day of school.

My point is, I like strong, stable ground.  I like knowing what happens next.  I like seeing the end, all written out.  For example, my fascination with reading the ends of books before reading the middle.  My logic is, why read the middle when you can just flip to the end and know what happens?  

And then my book thing.  I'm revising Snow in July.  I'm rewriting the whole thing, actually.  And I tell you, it's tough.  Disciplining yourself is tough.  When your parents tell you something, that's one thing.  When you tell yourself something, that's a whole other issue.  Because in a way, when you don't listen to yourself, you don't respect yourself.  And rewriting all the chapters?  

I also made a PowerPoint presentation, outlining the ten steps I'll take to get my book published.  And I want to tell you--I'm on step two.

I'm only on step two, and I'm already envisioning myself on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show, for heaven's sake.  I catch myself talking in bed, which is a lot of the reason why I fall asleep at eleven, an hour after I'm supposed to go to bed.  I like knowing what happens next.

And suddenly, I'm realizing: I'm predictable, but this post is REALLY about how I like things that are predictable. (I literally figured that out just now.  So if you're confused by what you just read...that's okay)


Predictability has its upsides and downsides.  I guess I'm not predictable in what I'll post on this blog.  You never know what to expect from me (a raving rant about Pacific Rim one day; a graphic story about how I sat in dog poop the next).  But I am predictable to other people.  I ask a lot of technical questions (my dad told me he's not going to answer any more questions about my Samsung Galaxy; I'm frustrating him that much), because I want to get the exact thing right.  I'm a stickler for rules (when my tennis coach says, high-five after every point, I high-five after every point--kind of).  I'm a linear person.  I like knowing what happens next in the book.  In life.  In everything, pretty much.

Then there's unpredictability of life, the part of life that I'm not used to.  I'm rererereading a series by Robin Jones Gunn, a bestselling Christian author.  It's the young adult Katie Weldon series.  Katie is probably one of my favorite book characters.  She's spunky and happy and somewhat logical and hilarious (all with a Christian mindset).  She's unlike me in that she takes life on with her gut feeling.  She is told that she makes her best decisions off of instinct--like at the end of the third book, when she (with the help of her friends Todd and Christy Spencer) decides, at 1:45 a.m., that she will go to Africa on a flight that leaves around 6.  

I think that goes to show how life might be in college.

I'm not a gut-feeling type of person.  No, no, no, no, no, no.  I even carefully analyze everything I buy.  It takes me forever to find clothes that I like and that I will wear, and the hard part is figuring out if I'll wear it or not.

So, what I'm trying to say is, I think that maybe I should learn to lean back.  Let God take the wheel.  Because honestly, when people try to discipline and organize themselves too much, they try to control their own destiny.

And, you know, it's not you who are in control of where you live, who you marry, and when you die.

It's God's will that will determine where I end up.  And even though I need a lot of structure at my young and carefree age, I can't have everything predictable.

Sometimes, I just need to trust things to God.

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.  And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.  And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them,“Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  And the menmarveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

-Matthew 8:23-27 (ESV)

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