Do you believe in destiny? Do you believe that you would have traveled through life, for many years, to reach the exact moment and purpose that you are currently at?
Every moment in our life destines us for something. And if you are a firm believer in destiny, then you need to believe that you are destined for the extraordinary and out-of-this-world moments, as much as you are destined for the mundane and seemingly boring moments.
On the topic of destiny, stems two further points of discussion which includes predestination, and free will.
On one end of this argument, predestination believes that God has decided the fate and destiny of every being on earth, specifically in terms of salvation, and free will is the belief that each individual possesses agency which allows them to ultimately choose salvation or not.
Let us take a deeper look at each of these ideas, how they exist on opposite ends of the spectrum, and how they exist in relation to each other.
What Is Predestination?
There may be moments in life that you look back on and think that it was just meant to be. These moments can be the sum total and culmination of many small occurrences, or they can be one single, life-altering event. But when you look back on these moments, you may think that a higher power had to be at play because such occurrences can only be predestined.
When looking at the idea of something being predestined, it is the understanding or the belief that the occurrences or events in your life were set in place and determined by a divine force even before you were born, or before you entered the physical world.
The concept of something being predestined ultimately boils down to fate and the notion that the trajectory of your life and all the events that take place in your life were meant to be, but also entirely out of your own control.
Predestination In Religion And Spirituality
The idea of predestination stems almost entirely from religious beliefs and the idea that God has predestined one’s life and salvation long before they were born. In Christianity, it is believed that even before time began, God had predestined and ordained the occurrences, salvation, and ultimate trajectory of every person on earth.
The concept of predestination is in stark contrast to free will because it is the belief that no matter what path your life takes, it has already been determined by God. Playing into the notion of God’s will, predestination is the belief that what happens in your life has already been planned out by God, through his unwavering plan, and nothing you do can deviate from this plan.
This, however, is a slightly more constricting view in that God’s will works hand-in-hand with free will stating that whatever choices and decisions you make in your life, the will of God will come to pass through your own choices.
In religion and spirituality, you can look at these concepts in this way: predestination refers to a path being laid out before you in the single and unwavering plan of God. There is no left or right and no possible deviation from this path.
God’s will refers to the outcome that God intended for your life coming to pass despite and in spite of the choices you make for yourself. The notion of God’s will is that the outcome God has planned for you will come to pass, but you still have the opportunity to use your free will and free agency to make decisions on your own.
For example, if you were presented with two potential job opportunities, and you feel extremely undecided, a person of faith will make a choice knowing that whichever job they choose is the position in which God has willed for them to be.
If they choose a job that is not the position God has willed for them, they believe that they will be removed from that position. In such instances, people may find themselves hating their job, immediately seeking new employment, or even getting laid off. They will then find themselves either going back to the other option they could have chosen, as that was ultimately God’s will for their life.
While predestination may be seen in the light of all events that take place in one’s life, it’s important to note that in religious beliefs, it is focused greatly on salvation. Some Christian denominations believe that God has predestined who will be saved according to salvation long before time began. Other Christian denominations believe that God’s desire is for everyone to find salvation through His Holy Spirit and through Jesus Christ, but people ultimately have the choice and free will to choose if they will find salvation in this way.
This is, however, a predominantly Calvinist view.
Predestination In Other Beliefs
While predestination stems greatly from Christian beliefs, it is not something that is followed by all factions within Christianity. Roman Catholicism is a denomination within Christianity that clings to the concept of predestination in terms of salvation.
However, other religious and spiritual systems believe not so much in predestination, but rather in the concept of God’s will. These belief systems include Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and spiritual practices that involve a close belief in theism or a belief in a creator.
Predestination Vs Free Will
The concept of predestination and free will seem difficult to understand especially when you consider that the two ideas exist in contrast to each other. One tells us that our life has been set in place since the foundations of the earth have been established, and the other states that our lives will go in the direction that we choose.
In terms of religion and spirituality, these two concepts shouldn’t be viewed in opposition, but should rather be seen to work in tandem for the life we are hoping to live. As humans, if we cling to a belief system that teaches us ways to live our life, we are going to attempt to align ourselves with that belief system and cling to the guidance set out by these beliefs as closely as possible.
In so doing, as a human with free will, you do your utmost best to adhere to what the will of your creator may be, even if you are uncertain about what that will is.
Upon further inspection, one quickly realizes that their belief in predestination and free will ultimately boil down to free will and what the individual chooses to believe. In your spiritual journey, what best you can do is try to make the right decisions in the hopes that this will contribute to you being a healthier and positive person.