In today’s post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Pastor Freed explored the free will that God give us to make our own choices beginning with this quote – “It’s choice, not chance, that determines your destiny.” (Jean Nidetch)
There is a tendency to use the words fate and destiny as if they have a common meaning and indeed the dictionaries often show them as synonyms; however, when I did a little quick research, I found some useful definitions of the differences –
“Fate and destiny are both words dealing with a predetermined or destined future. That’s why they are so easy to mix up. However, while fate is concrete and determined by the cosmos, destiny depends on your choices in life.”
It is that ability to make choices that is made possible by free will and the impact of free will is further defined in these two sentences that I found –
Fate brings you opportunities, and free will determines whether or not you take them.
Fate parades options in front of you, but you have to use your free will to reach up and grab one.
So, rather than believe that God has somehow pre-determined the course of your life, it is perhaps more accurate to think that God already knows what choices fate will present to you and can foresee the choices that you will make. There are all sorts of sayings about God being one’s co-pilot in life or being there with you as you make those choices. It is also comforting to know that even if you make bad choices, God forgives you and sticks with you.
Still, it is our free will that give us the opportunity to make those choices and we should take that responsibility seriously and make good choices. There are things that take away free will, like an addiction to drugs or alcohol, which cause people to make bad decisions. That is why some form of interdiction must take place, so that they can begin to exercise their free will and once again make the right decisions. One should admire those who attend AA or DA meetings because they have taken back control of their free will and made a good choice.
Rather than surrender to fate, take control of your destiny. Make the first good choice each morning with a prayer for God to watch over you during the day and help you make good choices at the inflection points that fate throws at you during the day. Remember Nidetch’s quote that is your choices and not chance that will lead to your destiny. Most choices that you face during the day will not seem to be all that important, but each one will impact your destiny, so exercise your free will and choose wisely.
Free Will is the wild card. “I am the master of my fate” is a statement that calls for clarification.