I believe that we were blessed with free will to screw up or walk the right path that we were intended to be on. There have been many times when I've thought, "I didn't sign up for this life!" The very truth is - I DID. It was hard to swallow at first but I own all of my decisions.
It sounds a little strange but I believe that I have a certain path/fate/destiny - the end result being death, of course - but the path leading to my ultimate end...did I make the way easier for someone else? Will I be remembered? Will knowing me and through me my decisions (free will) affect others?
Quick true story: I had ONE date in high school with Pat. He wasn't a "bad boy" but I loved that he made me laugh. At the time I couldn't see dating him. He wasn't the image of a perfect mate in my head. That was the end...until 20 years later (after a divorce and 3 kids) when we met up again and married...and he still makes me laugh. Destiny? I think so! Free will? Gave destiny a run for the money but eventually righted itself and put me exactly where I need to be.
I would say fate. It's like the cows grazing on a large farm. They think they are free because the fence is a mile away. Whatever happens in this life appears to be a new experience but in reality, it has already happened on some level of spirit. The body is just carrying out the program.
It's a combination of both. For instance none of (us) had a say as to whether our mothers would carry us to term when they learned they were pregnant or if we'd been born healthy. Therefore our very existence is fate/destiny from our point of view.
Sometimes destiny and free will work hand in hand. One may choose to marry a mate but that marriage ends in divorce. They decide to go on a vacation where they meet someone amazing and eventually get married to the love of their life. It's a case of "everything happens for the best" in the end. Had this person not gone through their divorce they probably would not have taken a vacation at that particular time and therefore probably would not have met their eventual "soul-mate".
This type of thing happens quite frequently in the human experience. We choose a route and something knocks us off the path and we re-adjust which takes us on a different path which often leads us to doing something we never "planned" or even if we ultimately get what we wanted it was not in a linear straight line. We look back and say; "If this had not happened I never would have done that which led me to doing blah blah blah which brought me here." Since we can't re-write our history all we can do is speculate on how things might have been different (if ) we'd turned right instead of left or departed the house five minutes later, chose a different college to attend.
Our lives for the most part are the end result of the choices and decisions we've made along the way. What caused us to make those decisions is often our (reacting) to what appears in our path. Maybe the "hiccups" in life or the cards we're dealt are destiny and how we "react" is free will. I'm not sure how one could fully separate the two.
“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions” – Stephen R. Covey
There is a certain degree of destiny, because of inertia, karma and the like. The Earth will still continue to spin; the sun will rise. These are predetermined by physical law.
But within physical law, we have the ability to move about. Even within the hidden tyranny of our current governments and the illusion of freedom amongst the controlled elections, we have real freedom to decide to react or to decide to observe the evil and do the right thing.
God knows the future to the degree that each individual will continue along the lines they have determined for themselves. But anyone, even the most evil, can decide to change. That freedom remains and it's only a matter of a decision.
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