Destiny. When used in the context of the hero, destiny seems glorious. It takes a character (or person) on a journey outside their control. It hones and polishes until the hero emerges. But do each of us have a destiny? Are we pawns in the clutches of its larger game?
God, I hope not.
I’m a big believer in free will—the opposite of destiny. Destiny means that some of us are meant to be the heroes and some are meant to be the troops on the field. Some are destined to get the boy (or girl) and some will live lonely lives. We have no control over either the process or the outcome. To quote Star Trek's The Next Generation: Resistance is futile.
That's why I dig free will. It gives us a choice. We may not make the right choice. The choices might suck. But it is our choice to make. We can set out to become the hero or choose to sit on the sidelines.
Unfortunately, some days I do feel like destiny takes over. It’s as if humans are the children of divorced cosmic parents. Weekdays we spend with Free Will and we can make our own decisions and learn our lessons. Then the weekends take over with the madcap Destiny, who drags us to the amusement park and places us on the roller coaster of life after being fed to much candy and soda pop.
Whoooh! So damn messy.
In my latest book, Angel Unprepared, my character Andi discovers that she has a destiny. Yet she struggles against it like any reluctant hero. Eodain, a new character who we’ll be seeing a lot more of in the future, sees this as Andi’s power.
“And you wonder at your own power?” Eodain exclaimed with a silvery laugh. “You fight the wheel of destiny and often win. I cannot think of anything more powerful than that.”
I want to know, just like Andi, that I have the power to tell destiny to take a flying leap. It may be a bad move on my part, but I want—strike that—I need that sense of control. Life is already chaotic enough. I want to have my hands on the wheel.
So how about you? Do you take control of your life or are you destiny’s plaything?