12/06/2006

How Do You Stop a Man From Exploding: Chapter 3...

In my search for destiny, I’ve examined the definition of the word, but was unable to narrow it down to more than two meanings. I tend to lean more towards a directional definition over an isolated event. But, in the end, I suspect it somehow involves both.

In looking at the life of Christ, I wondered if he knew his destiny. Did he know about the cross? He, of course, knew the prophecies. But did he know the exact details? And, if he did or didn’t, did he know all of the steps that he was to take in order to get there? And, if so, when did he find out? How did he find out? Was it revealed all at once, or a little at a time?

In my search for destiny, and through all of these questions, rather than discovering the answers, I have stumbled upon two, more personal, queries.

1) Is it possible, be it event or direction, for us to know our destiny?

-AND-

2) If we did know, could we handle it?

Is it possible, be it event or direction, for us to know our destiny?
I believe that, at times, it is possible for us to know a piece of our destinies: be it a step in the journey or a “life’s calling”. This would, of course lend itself more toward the directional definition of destiny.

I don’t necessarily think it possible to know our destiny in an event sense of the word though. Not because I don’t believe that God hasn’t or won’t share with us that information (as I’m sure there has to have been an exception to this), but because I’m not sure that we would be able to handle that type of information.

If we did know, could we handle it?
I think that, in the directional sense of the word, we could. I suppose that if we look at our directional destiny as our “life’s calling”, chances are, especially if you’re in ministry, you’re dealing with it already. But, what if we were to look at it in the event sense of the word?

Let’s say that our destiny is all about one event. And, somehow, we found out about that event long before it is set to take place. What would you do? My guess is that it would have a lot to do with whether or not you approved of what you found out.

Something Bad
Let’s say that God were to send you a text message containing information revelatory of your exact purpose for being on earth. But, instead of it being a noble act of heroism or sacrifice, it’s something embarrassing and seemingly pointless: something that you deem undesirable. What would you do with that information?

If you’re anything like me, you might spend a good deal of time in the beginning bargaining with God; trying to change his mind. Once you got past that stage, you would probably become depressed, feeling somewhat powerless to control or have any say in your future. Finally, you would probably either run away or hide out; trying to avoid whatever dismal future is in store.

So, if knowing our destiny (albeit, one that we don’t like) produces less than courageous and noble results, what would knowing our destiny look like if we approved?

Something Good
Ok, same scenario: text message from God. This time, however, you discover that your destiny is to become a world famous author: Purpose Driven Life 2: Tokyo Drift. Billions of copies sold. Billions of lives changed. Billions of dollars made. What would you do?

Perhaps you would become complacent. My guess is that the majority of us, if we found out far in advance, would shrug off our responsibilities. I know that I might be inclined to think that, if my future is already determined, and it turns out pretty sweet, then I would have license to do as I please. Unfortunately, I can’t be sure that I would maintain a level of faithfulness, righteousness, and holy discontent such that it would propel me forward towards God. Why would I? I already know I’m going to be great.

So, at least in my own case, it appears as if knowing my destiny (mostly in an event sense, although, somewhat in a directional sense) would not be the best thing for me. On one hand, were I to disapprove; I would run and hide from what I knew was coming. On the other hand, were I to approve; I would possibly feel no personal responsibility to remain faithful to the things that I now value.

So it would appear as if my search for destiny has led me to the conclusion that, were I to actually find out what it is, I could not be trusted to handle the information properly. Time wasted? Nope. Upon arriving at this conclusion and processing it for a while, I realized that I had been asking the wrong question all along. I thought I was searching for destiny, when all along what I really wanted; what I really needed, was faith…

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