Your Future: Fate vs. Free-Will – Practical Applications

I’m still waiting around for Metro State to call me back as to whether or not I have made it into nursing school.  In November, I received a letter in the mail stating that I was on the “alternate” list.  That simply means that if someone from the “accepted” list drops out before January 17 (day one of nursing school), and depending on how far down on the list I am, I might very well begin nursing school again.  Of course, that depends on many things.  How far down on the list am I?  Will anyone from the “accepted” list opt out of nursing school?  This could happen on the first day if someone doesn’t show up and I could be called up then. 

 If that happens, my mom will be moving back up here to help me with childcare until my year and a half of nursing school is complete.  If I begin nursing school and if I graduate, I will have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. 

I know, there’s a lot of ifs in there.  Life is just filled with them, isn’t it?  Nothing is for certain.  The future has not been written yet.  It’s what we do now, the decisions we make, the hope we have, the confidence we build and the faith in God that gets us through. 

I’ve been reading this book called “Flash Forward” by Robert J. Sawyer.  You may remember that Sawyer’s idea was made into a TV series by the same name Staring Joseph Fiennes, Jack Davenport, Sonya Walger, John Cho, Courtney Vance and Dominic Monaghan (among others).  It brings up the controversy as to whether or not the future is fixed.  If we knew the future, isn’t there something we could do in the “past” (right now) to alter it?  Or are we just destined for an inevitable fate?  Does “free will” have anything to play in that, or is that just an illusion that makes us think we have some control? 

If God already knows our future, should we just cease trying and accept the oncoming tide because we have no way of changing it?  I’d like to think that we do have control over our own futures by way of free will.  God does know exactly what will happen in our futures, but we probably won’t receive any insight into that. 

Some people believe that God is omniscient (as do I).  However, they go a step further and say that He has no role to play in our lives today.  He created the world like winding up a clock and just left us to our own demise.  However, I believe that He is still working on our behalf and is intimately involved in our everyday lives.  He doesn’t force us to do things, He just allows things to happen or intervenes when absolutely necessary.  In that way, He is not nullifying free will.  He is only enhancing our belief and trust in Him by being an integral part of our lives. 

So how does that apply to my life in the present?  I have done everything possible to secure the future that I want for myself.  I have taken all the pre-requisite classes required for a nursing degree and I have applied for nursing school at Metro.  I know that seems simple, but it has taken me 6 ½ years to get to this point.  I was in nursing school before for a year and had to drop out.  During that time, my wife and I separated and eventually divorced.  Last spring, I enrolled in Chemistry but had to withdraw. 

It hasn’t been an easy road for me at all.  But I have done my part.  Now the rest (the unknown) is up to God.  That is the role He is playing in my future.  That is where I fully trust in Him and have faith that He will see me through.  His will for me is unknown but I have faith that His will is what is best for me.  Could His will be for me to not attend nursing school?  Sure.  Of course that’s not what I want.  It will again cause me to re-adjust my life, look for more options and it could lead to more extreme change.  Who ever said that God’s will was easy?  I know I’m in His will right now and it hasn’t been easy for me to get to where I am now.  But I am here.  I do trust fully in God’s providence.  Even though I don’t understand it, I trust it.  Just like a child trusts their parent because the parent’s understanding goes far beyond the child’s.  God has never failed me and He never will.  I have only failed myself.  Other people have failed me as well.  But in experiencing that, I have learned.  I have fallen but have gotten back up.  I have followed His will and I will continue doing the same until I die.

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