“To be or not to be – That is the question” – William Shakespeare
I’m sure you’ve heard the title of today’s post before – you must have. It’s the most famous line of the most famous Shakespeare play, Hamlet. So what’s it about? Well in short Hamlet is contemplating whether or not he should commit suicide at this point in the play. He’s a complex character who doesn’t quite fit in with his contemporaries and for that reason he is seriously conflicted over the course of the play. Have I lost the literature non-enthusiasts yet? I’m sorry 😂 let’s get to the point… (oh and the skull is usually in Hamlet’s hand in cover art to show him contemplating life, death, afterlife, suicide – don’t worry I don’t play with demons).
What’s the Point?
Well that’s exactly what Hamlet asks himself – what’s the point – and what I’ve been asking myself for a while now. I question the idea of destiny a lot and whether we’re destined to do/be great or if we just convince ourselves that that is the case and therefore become great through faith… I don’t know. But let’s break this down a little so you can understand what’s happening in my head right now.
What is Destiny?
Destiny (/ˈdɛstɪni/) noun:
That which is destined or fated to happen; predetermined events collectively.
(There’s like 372827 définitions since the OED is extra so here if you would like to see all the others https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/51082?rskey=OXTORQ&result=1#eid)
So ultimately, this is the idea that your life is kinda set in stone with a series of events which are fated to happen. I fully don’t believe that – I think the idea destiny completely controlling reality would mean the absence of free will which I truly believe we have. And if that’s the case where does it leave God (if you believe in him)?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
– Jeremiah 29:11
This had been plaguing my mind for so long God plans things for us so surely destiny is real? But there again where is the place of free will?
What I think the Answer is 🤔
What I’ve kinda concluded over the past few days is that destiny and free will coexist. God has amazing plans for us but ultimately it’s up to us to be in sync with him and follow that path. I don’t believe it’s all set in stone but I do believe that there are generally things that are. Some people are born with natural gifts and talents – those are set in stone. Your potential is always there. But it’s up to you to discover and exploit it for your success.
I’ve been through a lot of really bad ish. I don’t believe that those things were destined to happen. I believe people around me made awful choices and used their power or positions of authority in the wrong ways. And I guess that’s what reconciles me with the idea of there being a God. I believe he exists in his perfection and we as humans, exist in our imperfection. People may have the destiny to be great but end up misleading, abusing, hurting people because of the choices they make that draw them away from the truth. For example a pastor who truly has a calling but makes the choice to take a shortcut rather than take his time to study the word before he stands before God’s people. Doesn’t mean God hadn’t called him (although for some that is the case) – doesn’t mean he isn’t destined to save some souls. But the route he’s taken is all wrong.
What’s My Point Here?
To link it back to our favourite fictional character lol he was hella dramatic and just needed therapy. But I guess he felt suicidal because he was tied to a sense of duty which he took as being fate or something he just had to do. You’re not a fictional character and you are not bound between 400 pages in a Shakespeare play. You can make your own choices.
I want you to think about your life, your journey on earth. Think about the choices you’ve made, are making and will make in the future. Are you on the path to greatness? Be true to yourself and answer that honestly. Have you made choices that have hurt others? After reflecting – don’t beat yourself up about the ugly truths surrounding the reality of your existence. But take a moment to pray or meditate and just focus on starting afresh in this new month. It’s okay to get things wrong from time to time. But do not ever believe that you’re destined for misery or pain. That ain’t it. Take accountability for your choices. And in the case that your life is a mess because of the poor choices of others – first of all check in on yourself, make sure you’re okay. Then think about how to go forward in terms of healing from the past and recovering from whatever long term effects it’s had on you.
I hope you go forward with this and have a fabulous February. Ultimately your destiny is in your own hands. The choice to live a life of greatness is yours. So go and be great
Until the next one, stay blessed ❤️