Hello reader,

Pardon me if my thoughts seem scrambled and vague (not that that’s anything out of the ordinary for me), but I want to try puzzling this"out loud".

With all of the summer job possibilities before me right now, I have been realizing all the more how much I love variety. I love to be constantly seeing new things, new places. The biggest factor in my mind as I consider Maine, Utah, Montana, is how different the scenery and experience will be from home and Mt. Rainier.

I had a few thoughts on choices between the familiar and the unknown.

What I am thinking about when I say that is, for example, choosing the same flavor of ice cream every time, or choosing a different flavor every time. Like my younger brother, Adam, who has tried black licorice ice cream and a caramel & toasted marshmallow Italian soda, among other things. Whereas my brother Kevin will choose vanilla 99% of the time. Although I can’t really fault him – why would I try other flavors when I already know that mint chocolate chip is indisputably the best?

But choosing the familiar or the unknown can apply to large decisions as well as small. Careers, schooling, where you want to live – desiring something you have experienced before or something you have never encountered can be a big factor.

My thought – or hypothesis – is that in the constant there is variety, and vice versa.

Choosing the same every time can be in itself a way to experience variety. In the small ways – you discover what brand of vanilla ice cream tastes the best, and are able to appreciate it all the more because you’ve tasted the cheap or nasty versions. And in the large ways – while visiting a beautiful or unique place temporarily can be wonderful, when you live in any place for an extended amount of time, it’s like getting to know a person. You see all of its moods – you see the different sunrises, and weather, and seasons. You see the small, gradual changes of time, and witness the radical changes when natural disasters or the hands of men alter the earth and buildings and growing plants.

A woman who has lived in the same house her entire life may not have seen other countries – states – counties – but she has seen that land and community quietly change, in slow, small steps and sudden, abrupt bounds. She has seen the many, varied faces of her home and knows it in an intimate way no stranger hope to gain by pausing on the same foot of earth for a breath.

As for constantly chooses something new, I have less experience in this area – at least concerning large decisions. After all, I’ve only been alive for 19 years, and until recently many decisions were not mine to make, because I was not yet old enough to shoulder my own life. The decisions that affected my life have been gradually shifting from my parents’ shoulders to mine as I grew older and taller. Mostly older. 😉

So now I stand on the road of life (poetic, no?), facing future decisions that will concern schooling, jobs, housing, serving the Lord – with so many forks at every turn that I can only be grateful God is the one viewing this spiderweb from above, and He does not leave me to navigate on my own.

But I digress.

I think that choosing something different every time can be just another way of looking for familiarity. The more you have experienced, the more you are familiar with. The more you have seen of the world, the more flavors of ice cream you have tried, the more you are familiar with that life. The more you have explored, the less there is not to explore

Obviously this is not always true, because there are things that you can learn about forever and yet never fully understand. At the top of the list is God. He is too vast and our minds are too limited.

God has also given us a world that is HUGE – and full of such varied people, cultures, lifestyles, animals and ecosystems. A person could travel constantly, from the moment they are born, and perhaps see every country and landscape. If they are constantly moving, I suppose there is a perhaps.

And then there are humans. God created us in His image, and we are complex and have so many unmined depths and brilliant and ugly facets that have not yet seen the light. We are complex and not necessarily predictable or understandable, like Him, but in a lesser way. Indeed, what I’m talking about right now supports the complexity of humans and human nature. We cannot all be stamped with labels or classified into groups of those who prefer new things and those who prefer the old. Because the preferences of new and old and familiar and unfamiliar are all mixed up, like a greatly tangled ball of yarn, and cannot be separated from the others.

 

Like I said at the beginning, my thoughts might be vague, but I’m really just doing this to puzzle it “out loud.” Smile Hope you didn’t mind reading.

 

Sarah

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