Finding our destiny

Published 6:00 am Friday, May 18, 2018

My greatest desire in life is to fulfill my best, God given destiny. This idea sounds simple and complicated all at once. Many people believe we are born with a destiny already in place. Some say we can create our own destiny.

What does destiny mean, anyhow?

One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions of destiny says that it is “a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency.”

My stand is somewhere in the middle. I believe we are all created with a purpose in this life. I believe we have a God given destiny before us. However, we also have the freedom of choice. A singer may have been given the gifts of song and musical ability, but unless they develop those skills and pursue that direction, they probably will not end up as a great singer. I believe we must find our gifts and abilities, uncover the passion in life that stirs us to do great things, and follow that direction.

I used to tell people many years ago that I am fully persuaded that if God wanted me sitting on the throne of England, Lady Di would have to pack her bags and move out of the way. I am still that confident that God can do with my life whatever pleases Him, but I also believe He allows us the freedom to choose a path of our own and reap our own consequences.

Some people might confuse the idea of “fate” with destiny. Fate means that we have a predetermined end and that no matter what we do, we cannot avoid the path that has been set before us. This is in direct contrast to the belief that we have the right to choose and by choosing, we create our own destiny. If a person absolutely believes in destiny, they don’t have to go out and do anything. They can sit around and whine their entire lives about how bad things are just because they don’t get up and pursue anything, then claim that was their fate.

People can twist in either direction to fit their own opinions about destiny. My favorite reference in the Bible is from the Lord’s prayer when Jesus gave us the guideline of how to pray. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” This is more than an act of thinking that God’s will is going to be accomplished no matter what we do. It could also apply this way: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in my life here on earth according to your plans for me in heaven.” We can come to a place of asking for and wanting God’s divine intervention and direction in our life. We can want to fulfill God’s higher plan for us as individuals more than we want to settle for our own ambitions.

This may seem a strange thing for a woman my age to be thinking about. I’ve spent a career in teaching. I’m officially retired. Why would I still be pursuing my best destiny? It is simple, really.

Yesterday’s accomplishments are gone, and tomorrow’s opportunities are unknown. Today and every day, I will choose to be the best I can be in any given situation. I will never measure up to the many brilliant, beautiful, wealthy people in this world, but I don’t have to. I am only responsible to take the gifts and time I’ve been given, accept the opportunities that are presented, and do the best I can. I only need to measure up to the best Judy I can be, not the best anyone else might be, and how much better they might do these things than me.

I like what William Jennings Bryan had to say on the subject. “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

Winston Churchill’s word of wisdom were these, “It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.”

Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Judith Victoria Hensley at judith99@bellsouth.net or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.