“I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul.”
These lines come from a classic poem, Invictus which I memorized for my English subject in high school. I used to like this poem as much as I liked the ideology of self-love.
Now that I have lived more than two decades of my life, I realize I am not the best architect of my own life.
I have no control of the people I meet, the opportunities I have, what people think, what people feel. I may control time by setting a timetable or deadline but I cannot freeze moments, delay aging or speed up things in my life. Some things just happen, like storms and sickness. I have no control over many things but I can only control how I respond to given life circumstances. I can control how I feel and how I react, and how I would like these changes or lack of changes affect me.
I come to a conclusion: “You can only plan your life to a certain extent but there’s always a hand of God that leads you to where you should be.”
Destiny is real and it is inevitable.When I was younger, I thought believing in destiny was for people who were lazy and complacent. I refuse to believe in destiny because I do not like to feel defeated.
Destiny does not mean surrender. It just means humility and having awareness we have limitations. By learning to accept destiny, we become more forgiving to ourselves and to others. If you can’t make it, forgive. If others choose to break you, forgive.
I am still optimistic about freewill and fate but now I believe fate is only kind to people who are kind to themselves.
I like nature trips because they help me realize how small I am in this universe and how narrow-minded I am to think that pieces of my life are not synchronous. The hymn How Great Thou Art best describes how I feel:
“When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze….
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!
I guess when everything is against your will, go to the mountains, wilderness, forests, not to meditate or not to be a monk. But go there to ask yourself, how can there be so much error in this world, when the trees, the skies, the mountains are perfectly colored, arranged and built as if there were too many engineers, architects, and artists who are responsible for these? There must be invisible hands working to make everything seamlessly beautiful. We are too small to fathom the mysteries of the world. Who are we to say something is wrong that the universe conspires to make us miserable?We need to be invisible to appreciate the divine plan set before us. There is always a plan unforeseeable.
Life events are like converging lines. They will lead you to one point someday.
Every long lost dream is like a Northern star leading to where you should be
Life is messy
Cupid is clumsy
For in chaos, there is calculation (Lorde, 2013)
For in battles we fail, there are newborn victors
For opportunities we miss, there are threats we dismiss
Similarly as what spoken word poet Ben Norris:
“For everything that crumbles, there are monuments erected in defiant celebration.
For every slip and broken bone follows four score epic baseball catches. It made the sky a place to aim for, made Buzz Aldrin and Felix Baumgartner not just normal blokes. It made a hundred kids look at the moon wanting nothing but to try it.
We need the speed of our flying dreams; we need gravity to defy it.“
This is not about destiny. It’s faith over fate.
All my life I sailed the sea of reason, I was captain of my soul…there was no need of my Savior, I tried to do it on my own…
Then I heard him speak the language of compassion, words of healing..for broken lives...
(From I Choose Jesus lyrics)
And we know:
“... that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8: 28
“God has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11