We watched "Soylent Green" for family movie night. About ten minutes into the movie I asked after the identity of "soylent green". The sound quality wasn't the best, and I thought perhaps I, being hard of hearing, might have missed exposition. I was informed by my brother that this was not the case. I snorted, "I bet it's people."
Mumsie nearly sent me to my room.
I have always had a knack for knowing the end of the story before it's finished. I believe the cause is twofold: 1) I'm observant and notice reused plot devices and 2) as an author myself, I know how stories are structured. Whatever the case, for the sake of my husband's sanity, I've learned to hold my tongue and enjoy the movie anyway. But my standard for a REALLY good movie is an obscure plot development and resolution.
While jogging the other day, I realized that taken to its logical conclusion this standard means that the ultimate REALLY good story is my own.
Yet I can't think of a story that fills me with more trepidation.
Will I ever become a successful actress? (I'm defining "successful" here as earning more as an actress than I'm spending as an actress.) Will my husband ever achieve his own goals? Can we see our dreams realized without sacrificing our morals or our relationship? Will we ever get kids? Will they be healthy, beautiful, and brilliant in their own right?
This last week has been horrible. Every circumstance and happening seemed to indicate that the answer to every one of these questions is a resounding "no". And the obstacles and setbacks have not yet desisted. I am emotionally and physically drained, and I want to give up on the idea of ever trying to accomplish anything more than Netflix marathons.
When it comes to my own story, I'd rather not be in the dark. I don't want to know what God has in store for me. I'd rather pen my own ending. I don't want to go through despair before achieving a triumphant resolution. Or worse, a tragic one. I want to skip straight to the part where I live happily ever after.
But I know that wouldn't make a good story. And that's certainly not how reality works.
I never really thought of God as an author before, but he is. And arguably, the best. Already, he has created billions of stories and is adding more and more every day. Each character has purpose, each plot is unique, and each story is the best possible rendition with thousands of crossovers to other stories.
With a repertoire like that, there's no doubt that my story will be a quality one.
There's an exhilaration in the unknown, but I dread giving up the comfort of foreknowledge. (I speak as if I had a choice!) There is so much potential for adventure and good, but there's also the possibility of tragedy and loss. I suppose there will always be scenes in which I will be afraid or despair. A relatable character usually does. But I am slowly realizing that this is acceptable. I don't have to pretend that I'm not afraid, I just have to persevere; and when I want to give up, remember that I have everything to gain but only my spirit to lose. In my heart, I think I always knew this was true, I just never had the courage to acknowledge it.
"It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going." - Samwise Gamgee, The Two Towers