Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fate & Choice

So a friend posted this on Facebook recently:

The overall sentiment I agree with, but the actual details I think are off. Perhaps destiny is something you earn, something offered but only won if hard fought. There seems to be this very interesting bifurcation fallacy that dominates people's thoughts about destiny. People think destiny requires fate. It does not. 

There is a general belief that IF God has a plan for you THEN that plan must be both immutable and unfailing. This does not follow at all. Trusting that God has a plan does not mean trust that this plan cannot be in any way changed by circumstances on the ground. In fact, in the Bible, you often see God changing His plan in reaction to human behavior. God intends Abraham to have a child of his own, an initially God's covenant only refers to the child of Abraham and Sarah. But when Abraham chooses to have a baby with Hagar, God makes a new covenant concerning that child, while still ensuring His original plan continues to proceed.

In Jonah, God PLANS to destroy Nineveh, but relents when Nineveh surprises Him with their penitential behavior. In Ezekiel (33), we are told that God responds to human behavior by adjusting His plans. 

God may have big plans for you, His intentions may be magnificent indeed. But as I see it, destiny is only something offered. It is hard fought and won only through struggle and work. Commitment is the cost of living out one's destiny. Why would the blessing of an extraordinary life come any other way? 

I think this comes with great romance too. One cannot deny the sense that some of us have that our spouse was somehow led into our lives. I feel God CALLED me to marry my wife, and CALLED my wife and I together. But I had to choose to respond to that call.And I have to work to be worthy of it, every day. You do not make your own fate, nor is destiny something just given by God and vouchsafed forever. Time and chance happen to all (Ecclesiastes), and whatever God gives you is not given to you with a guarantee of being free from struggle. Nor is the loss of one destiny the loss of all destiny altogether. God in the next moment may have a new intention, you can respond to and grab hold if you are lucky enough to see the opportunity and are apt to commit to that opportunity.

I end with a video that kind of sums up what I'm talking about here, it is from the film CAN'T HARDLY WAIT

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