Fatalism in Three Parts (Part I) The Beginning


“Why does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?” –Romans 9:19

As a child I believed that all things worked together as they would, whether for bad or for good. I was quite the young fatalist. The Jay Livingston and Ray Evans song “Que Sera, Sera”, became my mantra. It was probably my way of coping with the apparent reality of a chaotic, out-of-control world. Then there was that mystic, almost superstitious acceptance of a “sovereign” god that I had somehow and somewhere been made aware of. Was it faith? In a sense. But only in the sense that I believed breaking a mirror would surely ruin the following seven years of my life, or anyone else’s for that matter. And there are certainly no spiritually redemptive qualities in superstitious belief, only fear, or, in this case, comfort. I found comfort in the idea that no matter what happened, this god had it under control. After all, “He’s got whole world in His hands.”, right? I heard that one in Kindergarten. Now, understand, I wasn’t completely ignorant to the idea of religion. Since I can remember, I’ve believed in a god. I was influenced by the picturesque Bible stories that were “Nerfed” down to make them (in some overly cautious editor’s opinion) appropriate for a young child. What was left, however, was nothing more than another romanticized fairy tale equivalent to any of the other Walt Disney read-along records lining my bedroom shelf (there’s my age again). So I was familiar with Christianity, rather, Christianity light. I heard about Jesus. About whom the church supposedly said He was, and what He had done. The reasoning behind His actions, however, was completely lost on me. He was portrayed, simply, as a compassionate man who loved children, suffered terribly, and died on a cross. The Son of God even, a title which, by the way, means very little to a child satisfied with the “reality” of fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and talking animals. “Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so.” This may be enough for the average consumer, but we’re called to be thinkers. What if Galileo was content with “Twinkle, twinkle, little star.”?  I prayed to God often as a child and, at times, even shared what little I knew about his goodness and love (in passing) with the few friends I had. But in my fantastic prepubescent mind, he was still no more than a great cosmic genie that did indeed love us, but loved us from a distance. Possibly omnipresent, certainly not omniscient, and most certainly not omnipotent. At one point in my childhood, as I recall the influence of the acceptance of various contradictory spiritual theories, I sincerely entertained the thought that I myself might have been Jesus Christ re-incarnated.The idea came to me while contemplating, and, trying to make sense of, the level of suffering that I was personally experiencing in my life at the time. And although my sorrow did at times prove quite overwhelming, this shows just how little I understood about myself, the suffering of Christ or, let alone—an Omnipotent God.

to be continued…

About robin

...writer, lover, fellow-man; divinely adrift in a sea of inarguable genius and intellectual nuisance. Read@ robinejohnson.wordpress.com Like@ facebook.com/storiesbyrobin Follow@ twitter.com/storiesbyrobin and as always, peace, love, and think! View all posts by robin

8 responses to “Fatalism in Three Parts (Part I) The Beginning

  • samuelehall

    Robin, you’re a thinker.
    You might enjoy Tim Keller’s “The Reason for God,” if you haven’t already read it.

  • Lux Ferous

    I personally wasn’t a big fan of Keller’s books (i found his arguments weak), but it was certainly well written and the author as a person sounds quite likeable.

    “What if Galileo was content with “Twinkle, twinkle, little star.”?” <—This your own? It's a great quote. Might use it myself.

    • robinejohnson

      Thanks for the quick review, I haven’t bought it yet… I’ll check the library. I can’t take full credit for that quote. I heard a joke by R.C. Sproul many years ago, a conversation between a theologian and an astronomer, that inspired it.

  • Mary

    Please do read Tim Keller’s The Reason for God and write your own review. AND listen to or read John Piper on Romans 9, being prepared to think hard as he is no light exegetist. In fact you should check out his book THINK! His website also has an article on spiritual fatalism. Bon appetit. I love your think quote! Sadly we are getting close to that reality.

    • robinejohnson

      Turns out we actually have that book at our church, I’m going to read it as soon as I get the time (school’s back in session now and I have had ZERO reading or writing time). I actually have John Piper’s book ‘Justification of God’ which is an excellent exegetical exposition on Romans 9 (try saying that five times fast). Thank you for that suggestion though, way to get the word out! I have not, however, heard of ‘THINK!’, I’ll be sure to get that one. Thank you!

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