What Controls Your Future?
“HUMANS can no more be masters of their destiny than any other animal,” writes evolutionist John Gray. Author Shmuley Boteach expresses quite the opposite view in his book An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Judaism. He says: “Man is not an animal, and is therefore always in control of his own destiny.”
Many people agree with Gray and believe that blind forces of nature control the destiny of the human family. Others consider man to be a creation of God endowed with the ability to have control over his own future.
Some feel that their future is controlled by powerful human forces. According to writer Roy Weatherford, “the majority of the people in the world—and especially the majority of women in history—have . . . no power or control over their own lives for straightforward reasons of human oppression and exploitation.” (The Implications of Determinism) Many have seen their dreams of a happy future wrecked by competing political or military powers.
Others throughout history have felt helpless because they thought that supernatural forces controlled their destiny. “The ancient Greeks,” says Boteach, “were obsessed with the idea that all hope was futile since man could not overcome predetermined destiny.” They felt that the destiny of every person was decided by capricious goddesses. These goddesses, they believed, decided when a person would die as well as how much distress and pain he would have to endure throughout his life.
The belief that a person’s destiny is controlled by a superhuman power is common today. For example, many people believe in Kismet, or fate. They say that God has predetermined the outcome of all human actions and the time of one’s death. There is also the doctrine of predestination, which promotes the view that “the ultimate salvation or damnation of each human individual has been ordained beforehand” by Almighty God. Many professed Christians adhere to this teaching.
What do you think? Has your destiny already been fixed by forces completely beyond your control? Or is there some truth in the words of English playwright William Shakespeare, who wrote: “Men at some time are masters of their fates”? Consider what the Bible says on this matter.