Friday, June 27, 2008

Life Is A Box Of Chocolates... Or Is It?

I recently had a brief dialogue with someone who doesn't believe in the concept of destiny. As someone who believes that everything happens for a reason, one would think that it is only intuitive for me to scream bloody murder at him until gray matter oozes out of his ears. However, I sat there intrigued with his argument. How can one deny the concept of destiny?

His argument reminded me greatly of Neo's answer in The Matrix as he himself declared that he doesn't believe in fate. He said that he likes to think that everything is up to him and that his future is entirely in his hands -- that he basically has complete control over it.

Valid argument, yes.

Then he mentioned that God's best gift to man was free will. And because of free will, we are given the freedom to choose whatever path we wish to take. I felt my ears perk up at the mention of God's name.

I asked, "So, you believe in God?"

"Of course," he answered. I just had to make sure. These days, one can never know.

"Isn't it that God already has a plan for us? Well, at least that's how we are taught," I rebutted. "Where does it fit in that we are in total control of our lives if He already knows what will happen to us in the end?"

Don't get me wrong, I do believe that God was pretty damn generous to grant us all free will. But this is how I see it: God gave us free will so that we can make our own choices and perhaps even to make our own mistakes to learn from. And even if He has given us this much power over our lives, He is still pretty involved in steering us towards the right direction. I like thinking that we embark on a journey towards our destinies -- it's just that our adventures vary depending on which roads and turns we take.

Believing in destiny doesn't mean that we have to leave everything up to God or the Universe (whichever we believe in). And it doesn't mean that we can simply sit by the beach sipping a cocktail while we wait for the sky to drop destiny on our laps. Life still goes on. We are still the sculptors of our own life statues -- but I cannot deny the existence of a greater master that guides us on the creation of our works of art.

My concept of destiny is largely intertwined with my belief in God and His masterplan. I feel that I will have a difficult time coping with disappointments and failures if not for it. Whenever I stumble, I pick myself up with the thought that it must have happened for a reason. It must have happened to pave for something bigger and better to come through. The idea makes me plow forward with heart and spirit.

I do respect his preference for not believing in destiny. But I think that to a certain extent, he believes in it -- just not in the conventional sense. And it's not wrong at all. God did give us free will to exercise and for this power, we thank Him everyday.

Forrest Gump teaches us that "life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." However, even though we may not know what we're going to get, surely, someone with a plan has handpicked all those chocolates to put in our boxes. They are all carefully tailored just for us.

And it's our job to find out why.


Blogger utopia said...

well i do believe in destiny. but like ya said we have choices too and we can't be sitting around waiting for destiny to take its course.

7:30 PM  
Blogger thisisme said...

This is a really strong, thought provoking post. Well done. I know we have choices, but I'm sure someone is guiding, I'm just not sure who.

Hope you and your family are OK.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Kyla Bea said...

Very interesting! I'm an anti-destiny person myself - I love the idea of it, but I don't think our tiny actions are all so vital to the universe that things would all be pre-charted for us down to the minute.

I believe in kindness and in being careful with the people around you and in your choices though - and I think that the rewards people can take from simple kind actions can be huge.

Very thought provoking! =)

9:59 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

Not really sure how I feel on this, one way or the other. But I do recall a sunday school teacher who resolved it for herself by saying that God DOES direct the flow to get the results he wants to see, however he also gave us free will. THUS, we have the choice to either be a part of the plan God has, or not. God will see his plan through with or without our help.

*shrug* That's the best explanation I've ever gotten to resolve the conflict between God's plan, and our free will.

4:13 AM  
Blogger jellyhead said...

I'm not sure what I believe either, but I sure enjoyed reading this and thinking about it all. Great post!

9:58 AM  
Blogger Destination Infinity said...

I think we have free will to do anything. But we cannot much always decide on the results of our actions.That seems to be decided by God or Destiny. Some times even simple things seem to fit very well in a larger pattern. Good and Bad might just be illusions in the larger game that he is playing. But in the end justice is served to everyone - is my pow.

Destination Infinity.

12:38 AM  
Blogger alpine path said...

Excellent! "And it's our job to find out why." Superbly worded!

3:36 AM  
Blogger Chaitali Patel said...

Nice the last line!

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's has been quite a while I got to read some good writeup of your intriguing thoughts, this is one of many good one you have written that I have enjoyed reading them. Here's just my 2cent worth of comment, and here goes ...

Freewill is just an illusion, whether you believe in the mighty one or a self believer. There is only choices from what you have been brought up to learn, and been govern, but never was there any true freewill. Building upon it is that destiny, and if been govern well with much care, will then we have choices in life of what we so call as freedom.

After all, I am only a puny human ... :)

10:09 AM  
Blogger Sudipta Chatterjee said...

I have to argue against this. If God and destiny were true, why let people plough through the whole ordeal when everything can be taken care of by the one who sets the master plan himself? Or how about those who upset the master plan? Lets say mass murderers? Or how about people who die from starvation? Is that part of His master plan too? If yes, then I believe God is a very cruel person.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

Are you familiar with those old Choose your own Adventure books?
"If you choose to turn left, then go to pg.63. If right, go to pg.107".

If there is a God, and/or Destiny/Fate, that's probably how it works. There's an outline.

...or there's no rhyme or reason to any of this and we're all doomed. DOOMED I SAY!



9:02 PM  
Blogger Avaran said...

hey iv been having some problems with my internet, which wudn let me post comments..... well, u seem to quote Gump quite often!

4:02 PM  
Blogger M@ said...

I think neither of you are correct.

The idea of destiny is ridiculous but science seems to say that we don't exactly have free will either. I don't believe in free will either....

5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for a large part I must say I agree with you.

Everything happens for a reason, a small string in the larger web is what I would like to believe.

Nicely written :)

4:29 AM  

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