It was meant to be

How many times have you heard people say, when things happen in their lives, “It was meant to be” – as if it was supposed to happen according to some fixed invisible purpose?

Supposing it’s true, though, that whatever happens to me is meant to be, and everything I do is actually following some preset plan for my life. That means, then, that when I decided to cross the road yesterday morning and a car came out of nowhere and hit me, it was meant to be. Or if I’d decided not to cross the road at that particular spot at that particular time, and crossed the road instead at another location where no car hit me, that was meant to be as well.

Or, because I drove my car to work at 8:17 am instead of my usual 8:15 am, I ended up in a traffic accident and was carted off to hospital for surgery, followed by months of recovery and a lifetime of pain. But was that “meant to be” too?

It sounds horrible, especially when every waking second we make choices, and every one of those choices sets a course of action, or thought, in motion, each with its own set of consequences. If I’d turned left after crossing the road, for instance, I might have noticed a car for sale in someone’s driveway that turned out to be a real deal, but turning right I tripped over a sleeping dog and broke my nose.

But was breaking my nose instead of getting a hot deal on a car the result of outside forces directing my life into fulfilling foregone conclusions made for me long ago? No wonder people are wracked with superstition and they carry lucky charms to assure themselves that fate is on their side.

But fate has always been on our side according to Paul in Colossians 3:3, because our lives are now “hidden with Christ in God” – meaning every human life and destiny is already safely tucked away with the powers of the universe. That’s a hard one to grasp when so many horrible things are happening to people, but Paul reminds us in verse 1, that “Since you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts (and minds, verse 2) on things above…not on earthly things.”

Fix our minds, in other words, on what really and truly is the fixed invisible purpose for every human life, which, according to Paul is this, in verse 4: “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” No matter, then, what happens to us now, this in the end has always been how “It was meant to be.”


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