Over my lifetime I've heard arguments on both sides of this topic. Both arguments are compelling. Even as a Christian who believes in Divine providence, I also believe in fate to some extent.
Nicholas Sparks is an excellent writer and story teller. His romance novels are about more than just romance (love).
Tonight I watched "The Lucky One" with my daughter. This movie brings the question of divine providence versus fate right to the front of the line.
In case you haven't see this movie, I am going to try to explain some things without spoiling it for you. However, I will say that what happens to the young soldier in the movie is an excellent example of both fate and Divine providence at work.
For example - was it his "fate" to find the pIcture of the girl when he did? What about where he found it on the battlefield? Did the when and where save his life because when he stopped to pick it up it kept him from walking into an explosion? And then because of his choices, did Divine providence step in to get the desired outcome (find the girl in the photo) - regardless of his choices? Was it Divine providence that lead the girl down the path she took that put her in the right place, at the right time to meet this soldier?
Do you believe this soldier's choices, fate, or Divine providence lead to him find this girl and fall in love with her?
I distinguish the difference in "fate" and "Divine providence" as this - (remember, this is only my opinion. I am not teaching or preaching to you):
Fate is something that comes our way through no action of our own. For example, the wiring in the wall of a kitchen blows and your house burns down, you can no longer live in your house. You had no choice in the matter. It just happened to you.
Divine providence is what happens after we decide what path to take - rebuild on same lot or move? Once you make the choice, if it is His will for you, God steps in to orchestrate events and people to get you where he wants you.
Here are definitions of the words 'fate' and 'providence found at Dictionary. com. As you will see they are different and yet, also the same:
Dictionary.com definition of FATE [feyt]:
something that unavoidably befalls a person; fortune; lot: It is always his fate to be left behind.
the universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably prescribed; the decreed cause of events; time: Fate decreed that they would never meet again.
that which is inevitably predetermined; destiny: Death is our ineluctable fate.
Dictionary.com definition of PROVIDENCE [prov-i-duh ns]:
(often initial capital letter) the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth.
(initial capital letter) God, especially when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence.
a manifestation of divine care or direction.
Do you rely on or believe in fate only, (Divine) providence only, or your own choices only? Do you believe in a combination of fate, (Divine) providence, and your own choices? Are you prepared to do your part by taking responsibility for your own life?Regardless if you believe in fate, providence, or your own choices, you have to be the master of your own life. Take charge!