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Who's Life Is It?

Excerpts from Many Paths, One Truth by Rev. Barry King, PhD.
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The other day, I was speaking to someone about the difference between free-will and destiny. There are many who believe that the major events in our lives are pre-ordained and unchangeable. They believe that destiny or fate controls their future and that no matter what they do they cannot change it.

Now let's take a minute and think about this. If you have no control over the events in your life, then what is the point of a life. If you are merely a puppet going through the motions, then why bother with the motions? How can we make choices? How can we grow?

I have met a number of people who have learned in their tradition that if they do something wrong God will punish them. These same people have had their faith shattered by the fact that when something bad happens in their lives they feel they are being punished for something they must have done. Because they do not understand, they turn away from God - A God of Love - when they need God the most.

If you add the notion that if you do something wrong God will punish you, to the notion that fate/destiny dictates the events in your life, the picture can become pretty depressing. Now you are being punished for doing things that apparently you have no choice but to do. It is little wonder that so many people are depressed, unhappy and confused.

I have some good and some bad news for you.

The good news is that the myths about destiny are not true. It is not true that you have no control over your life. You live in a free-will universe. You are not only in control of your life, you are the master of your future. You are in physical life to make choices and to grow.

It is also not true that God punishes you when you make a mistake. You grow by learning from the choices you make. When you make a bad choice it takes you down a path of learning which hopefully will help you make a better choice in the future. If you do not learn, you will probably make the same bad choice and be given yet another opportunity to choose more wisely. Since God is a loving God and wants you to be happy, you will have as many opportunities as you need to get it right. God wants you to grow.

You have been given a wonderful gift. A life on this beautiful planet. This life is yours to do with as you wish. To not have free-will would be like being given a car as a gift only so that you could drive the giver wherever he or she wanted to go.

It is true that when you came into this life you entered with a number of tasks which may have included the opportunity to accomplish or experience certain things. If you believe in karma, there may also be debts you have to pay back to others. You may have asked to experience helplessness, or great love, or compassion, or any one of a hundred other things.

You have Spirit guides to provide support and guidance from the other side. These Spirits are there because before you came into this life you asked some of your Spirit friends who had mastered the qualities that you wish to work on to give you guidance and support from the other side. Even though you may not be aware of it, Spirit speaks to you every day. You have guidance and you are never alone.

All the things in your life are there because you choose them. You choose your parents. You choose the circumstances into which you would be born. The choices you made were the ones which would provide you with the greatest opportunity to accomplish the tasks that you have set for yourself in this life.

When you come into this life, your memories of your Spirit-life are hidden from you. This means that you do not remember that you are eternal nor why you came into the physical. It is important that when we come into the physical, we do not remember what those tasks are because if we knew what they were and we knew that there is a wonderful life for us in the world of Spirit, we would busy ourselves with the tasks we had come to accomplish and once finished leave. It is also important because if you know you have to be nice or loving or kind because you are afraid of what will happen to you if you are not, there is little benefit for you. You have to do things because they are right - not because you have to.

Many people believe that when you have a psychic or Spiritual reading all the things that are talked about in the future are absolute - unchangeable. Some believe a psychic is accurate only if everything happens just as he or she said it would. To understand guidance from Spirit, is to understand that this is not true. If it were true, why would Spirit bother to tell you? To prove how accurate they can be! The whole point of a reading is to empower you to make changes in your life. If you do not like what you are told about the future, then it is your job to change it. Spirit sees a number of possible futures. Spirit can tell you what will happen if you continue to move along the same path you are now on. A reading can put you on notice that it is time to change. Whether you do or not is up to you.

A number of years ago, a man and his wife came to me for a reading. When doing the reading for the man's wife, Spirit noted that she had been having chest pains and suggested that she knew it was time for her to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Spirit told her that she knew she had had heart problems over the last year and that it was not something she should take lightly. The woman assured me that she would visit the doctor on Monday when the office opened. Spirit reiterated that she should not forget. The husband said he would make sure that she did not forget. Spirit accepted this and continued with the reading. A week later, I received a call from the husband who was devastated. The woman had not gone to the doctor on the Monday and on the Friday had died of a massive heart attack. She had made a choice.

One of the hardest lessons for most of us is to accept that the only life that you have the power to change is your own. Sometimes when we feel we have the answers, we try to save others from the pain of going through the consequences of a wrong choice. You cannot accept the responsibility for anyone else's choices and you certainly should not make their choices for them. To attempt to live another's life is to rob them of their opportunity to make choices and grow. If you make their choices for them, then you have sentenced them to the task of finding another opportunity to learn the lesson that you have just robbed them of. That is not to say that many people are not more than happy to let you live their lives for them. It is easier! It is safer! And if it doesn't go right , then they can blame you. The other problem in trying to save people from difficult times is that you do not know what experiences they needed to go through in this life.

It is important to note that a reading will never tell you exactly what you should do. To do so would be to rob you of the opportunity to choose. The reading will tell you some of the things to consider around the issue and provide you with insight into it. Spirit will reaffirm what you already know and offer you support in your decisions.

YOU are the master of Your future. That does not mean that YOU will not have to go through some things YOU would rather not GO THROUGH, but it does mean that you can accept responsibility for what you do go through and learn from it.

We are in the one great classroom and we need challenges to learn the lessons or have the experiences we need to grow. The physical is the only place we can feel things such as helplessness, or pain, or hopelessness. These are physical sensations and not the sensations of the higher Spirit realms.

What is the bad news? Well, the bad news is also good news if you accept the challenge of a physical existence. You cannot blame God or the devil or anyone else for the choices you make in your life. Any challenges you face or have faced are challenges you have chosen and you can rejoice for you will succeed in facing and overcoming them. You are growing and you are experiencing a free-will universe. You are here in the life you are living because you have chosen it. Celebrate the opportunities it is providing for you.

I guess for some there is further bad news. Some people find this news most difficult to deal with while others embrace it with joy. What is this news? It is that we are responsible for our lives and for translating what we believe into action. Take charge of your lives and celebrate the wonderful gift that you have been given. You are not only eternal but you are privileged to have the gift of a physical existence. How will you choose to use it?