I’m in a pondering mood. As my oldest son travels home from the Persian Gulf and I prepare to watch my youngest son graduate from Basic Training, I’m awash with memories of their childhoods and the road my life has taken while paralleling all four of my children’s lives.
Fate is a fascinating mystery, one that stupefies me. Do you believe in pre-destination? Do you believe that our lives are mapped out in the book of life as we are formed in our mother’s wombs (Psalms) and that a higher being knows who we are and what we’ll do before we ever inhale our first breath?
• Had I been born to any other parents, I would never have lived in the places I’ve lived, met people of different cultures or grown to understand that our earth is a very small place, that we all seek some sort of enlightenment and speak the same language, even though we can’t understand what’s being said. (This is where empathy is important; time taken to listen should be our focus and the term ‘putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes’ deserves our utmost attention.)
• If I’d never gone to a disco on a specific night with a particular friend, I might never have met the man who swept me off my feet. (Does almost going on a blind date six months before verify that fate is ever-present?)
• Should I have married a different man and planted roots in one place right away, my children would not have been born in two different countries and two different states and they would not have been given the education they received. Would that have changed their outlook on life? Would it have changed mine?
• If I had refused to volunteer my time to sponsor field trips, benefit local fundraisers, act as a liaison for various organizations or offer my time and talents to my church, I would also have missed out on the relationships I’ve developed through the ministry of helping my fellow man, no matter what the need.
• Never let it be said that volunteering leads nowhere. There is great satisfaction in giving your time to a worthy cause. And time spent giving to others often returns to the giver ten-fold. Who knew that all this volunteering served to pad my resume and help me get a great part-time job? Never discount your time.
• Jacob’s ladder was long, ever-reaching toward heaven. Each rung I step upon on the ladder of life leads me to closer to my fate. But without physically putting my foot in the first rung, then the next, and the next, I cannot climb, nor will I reach my destination.
We are formed by our surroundings, molded by our families. Sculpted like potter’s clay, we are formed in the likeness first imagined by the sculptor of our lives, one who plotted the book, knows the protagonists, villains, every single bit player/secondary character we have met, will meet and will ever meet. There is a cultural soundtrack for each of us, a lyrical composition to guide us on our path, if we take the time to listen in the stillness. Even Michelangelo is known to have said that with each piece of marble, each statue encouraged him to chisel out its brilliant form. Listen...
Have you ever wondered why someone you’ve never met suddenly blesses you with a compliment? Does a smile from a stranger or someone you know raise you up from the doldrums instantaneously? That is fate. The miracle of life plotted in the book, created/written before we were born.
I have a recurring dream. Through a nightmarish process too boring to mention, I end up on a cruise ship. I’m ordered to put on my best evening dress and am escorted to stand next to the ship’s captain. There on the deck, my captor speaks to me about life. Then, without fully understanding, I follow a pointed finger where I'm lead to gaze upon a mountain where every single person I’ve ever known, have met, and will meet (family member, childhood schoolmate, deceased relative, future acquaintances, you name it) wave at me, greeting me with the passion befitting a queen.
Strange, isn’t it? Or is it? Wednesdays are great days to ponder the week you’ve already lived and the rest of the week to come. As writers we are given a challenge with each book to write from the heart and stroke the heartstrings of readers.
Do you believe that everything you do or have done has been guided by fate? If you are a writer, as you sit and craft a book, plotting the outcome of your characters, have you ever wondered if someone was doing that for you, via you?
Take time to sit in the stillness. Listen to the melodious soundtrack playing in your chest and let your heart reveal its passion. Destiny is for the believer, the one confident enough to accept the plotted road by the author who wishes us every success.