Happy New Year SMILES tribe! Welcome to 2020, I missed you too but I had to take last week off to reflect and detox. May the blessings of this year be beyond your expectations. Did I hear an Amen? On to today’s gist.
It was towards the end of last year when I had an interesting discussion with my very good friend that inspired this article on the subject of predetermination or predestination. It could be argued from both sides of the equation. My friend argued that no amount of prayers can be made to change what God has already predestined. While I agree that God does grant us things we desire, he does them not because of our prayers but despite it because He is God and will not embarrass Himself. Theologians have debated and written books to either prove or disprove the subject of predestination however, existing the theological and philosophical debate realm then leaves us with difficult questions.
If predestination is true, what then happens to free will? Are we just puppets on a string, doing what God ordained in eternity past? Does God predestine some people to go to heaven? Is 2020 already a done deal? Admittedly, these are difficult questions. I don’t have answers to these questions. However, I do want to assert one fact at the very beginning: The Bible does teach predestination. It’s a biblical word, used several times in the New Testament. No one can get around that fact.
God is all-knowing and sees the end from the beginning but has given us the gift of free will to decide and choose for ourselves one from the different outcomes He has, predestined for us. One way of looking at life is to see it as a daily series of choices. From the time we wake up in the morning until we go to bed at night, we’re making choices. If we’re not, then someone or something else is making them for us. At any given moment, we’re free to choose what to think and what to do. God gave us free will. No one can take it away from us. We can alter the course of our lives any time we want because whatever we do, we do by choice. We can say we have to do things or that we’re forced to, but the truth is that we do what we choose to do.
It wasn’t our choice to be born into the world. And it’s not our choice that someday we’re going to die. However, the period in between, the one we call life, presents us with countless choices. There are some obvious ones due to the nature of our society. We can choose our friends, careers, lifestyles, political affiliations, faith, where to live, what kind of car to drive, and what kind of music to listen to. But there are some other choices which, while less obvious, are far more important. We’re either unaware of them or just don’t give them much thought. Yet, they’re the choices that determine the quality of our lives. In 2020 and beyond, prayerfully become intentional about the choices you make rather than go through life with the mindset of “what will be, will be”.
Here are a few suggestions of choices you can start making. Choose to develop your character and decide the type of person you want to be. Commit to personal development this year. Choose the values that will guide your life and don’t allow the media to decide for you. Be kind to people by treating them right and uplifting them instead of pulling them down. Choose to keep learning and above all choose to be purposeful and choose a meaningful cause that will give meaning to your life. Cheers to your prosperity and I pray that you thrive in 2020 and beyond.