We’ve all seen those movies or TV shows where someone goes back in time and alters the present/future by changing something small in the past. This, to me, opens up a whirlwind of ideas as to what time is. Is it a linear measure that is unfolding from any particular moment in the timeline and the future does not yet exist? Is time just one lump that is all present at the same time? Is time a series of parallel universes that all have a potential of being unlocked by the actions of a person? Is time a linear measure that is and will be the same, no matter what happens?
These concepts of time bring to mind the ideas of destiny versus free will. Many Christians struggle with this subject, and point to God’s sovereignty as the proof of destiny and God’s love as the proof of free will. Now, if you cannot stand the idea of trying to grasp metaphysics, stop now, because this is going to turn into a mess of abstract theories about life.
Upon thinking about this, I looked deeper into what the word “sovereign” means. The typical Christian defines it as “control.” However, the true definition means “rule” or “authority.” Yes, one can have rule and authority, but not control what happens. Think about a king. In the early days of Protestantism, the king had rule, but no control over, Protestants. They continued to be Protestants despite being told not to. I’m not saying that God is helpless to our will, I’m saying that He allows us to control our own destiny. But, He still has authority over us and can change whatever He wants to. This is a reconciliation of God’s sovereignty and the concept of free will.
Now, for destiny. The Book of Acts refers to “those whom are predestined”, and many use this to prove the theory of predestination. But, many other of the more accurate translations actually translate this phrase to something along the lines of “those whom God knew and loved beforehand.” And who did God know and love before everything? Everyone! But, where does this leave the other translations of “predestined.” I will argue that we are all destined to be Christians and do great things for the glory of God’s kingdom. All of us, even non-Christians. How is this possible? Well, the answer that lies in God’s power. God, being all powerful, could easily create beings that could circumvent the destiny He laid out for people. So, yes, we create our own destiny, but not in the sense that that “destiny” is our true Destiny. It is a false destiny. See, I believe that “destiny” is a potential that lies in the universe and in the choices we make. But, true Destiny, the Destiny God has laid out for all of us, the Destiny where we all unlock our greatest potential, is achieved by pressing into God’s will and by having a relationship with Him. Now, for whether or not certain people are “destined” to be Christians. Well, yes, we all are. It just depends on which potential we decide to unlock with our choices. I believe that the idea of destiny is not a singularity, but, much like time, is a concept of potential energy. Every choice is a potential. And time does not unfold, but rather snaps together at each choice people make, both major and minor.