I’ve always assumed that destiny—my destiny, your destiny, our destiny—is out there, out front, down the road a bit and around the corner. Destiny isn’t; destiny will be. I’ve always assumed that destiny was a future event that we aspired to. And in a sense I suppose that makes sense: destiny has the same etymology as destination, after all. But lately I’ve been wondering whether I have placed destiny so far forward for no other reason than to keep it handily out of reach.
Is destiny something I, you, we, aspire to, or is it something we defer for as long as possible? I think of Augustine, who saw purity and continence as his destiny—“but Lord, not yet!” I think of Oz, the Emerald City, the reality of which proved less inspiring than the idea of it, or the yellow brick road that led to it. I think of my own destiny fantasies—the inevitable celebrity, the inordinate wealth—that I somehow intuitively recognize are more valuable when they remain ethereal, better coping mechanisms than life coaches.
So now I’m wondering whether destiny isn’t so much some future, far off thing as it is something present and parallel, another way possible that pokes me now and then with its possibility, a ghost that haunts my everyday existence and urges me to repent and hear the good news. The kingdom of God, Jesus tells us, is near—more now than not yet. The life I’m meant to live—not the “best life” that involves conspicuous, relentless consumption and obnoxious self-assertion and –preservation but the responsible, mature, vocational life fashioned for me in secret by the Creator of the universe—is knocking me off my horse, tapping me on the shoulder and whispering in my ear: “This is the way, walk in it.”
No destination, only destiny. No future, only the ever-present now awaiting my awakening, your awakening, our awakening.
Maybe not. But it does make me wonder . . .