Que Sera, Sera

Ann's semi-annual chemo treatment is today (and also two weeks from today).. consequentially we are doing a short hospital stay. So I am walking down the hospital hallway this morning and overhear a person say something about leaving something up to "fate". Reminded me of "Que Sera, Sera" and Doris day singing the song with that annoying "Whatever Will Be, Will Be" chorus. Do you remember the song? Do you like the idea of leaving things up to "fate"?

About five years ago I wrote a blog post about faith and fatalism and examined how I sometimes confuse the two. Here is an excerpt from it:
So what exactly is the difference between true faith in God's sovereignty and a fatalistic view. I think that we can find the answer in the outcome of each. In essence faith causes us to press in, seek, and overcome - fatalism causes us to give up. Faith inspires hope in tomorrow while fatalism offers only fear. Faith affirms God's love for us ... fatalism embraces the worst of our fears.

Fatalism is very subtle because it can mask itself in very religious ways. We can mistake a sort of spiritual paralysis as "waiting on the Lord". We can be immobilized by fear and think that we are living in dependence on God ... all the while not taking risks ... not stepping out in faith ... thinking that God will move when even when our hearts are dark with fatalism.
These days.. five years later.. I still struggle with fatalism at times.. maybe being at the hospital today is a reminder of it. But.. and it is a significant but.. I struggle less because I have seen life happen and the future that I feared is not the the future that I experienced.. life has not been the one I dreamed but it is also not the one I feared. Because we did not resign ourselves to our future fate we embraced medical procedures like this chemotherapy. If we had resigned ourselves to "Whatever Will Be, Will Be" we would probably have prayed and acted differently. The results may not be different but we are.

How about you? Do you struggle with a fatalistic view of the future?


  1. I went to bed last night in a very disheartened state. Some issues were chasing around in my head and I guess I was struggling between fate and trust.
    I awoke this morning with the words of a song running through my mind...I know You're everything, You're all I ever need, I know You're everything to me. In You I find my strength, in You I find my peace, in everything I say and do I put my faith and trust in You.
    So its with a new attitude that I face this day and it seems I have to again let go and let God.

  2. Deep thoughts this morning, Bob.

    I don't struggle so much with a fatalistic view of the future as I do a pessimistic view of the future. Something you said really resonates with me the future I feared is no the future that I experienced. That is a mantra for me, something I need to repeat to myself over and over again because i am a worst case kind of guy. When I think of the future, it's almost always on a worst case basis and the things I fear have (so far) never come true.

    There's a joke that goes something like "My worrying must be working because the things I worry about never happen." I remember having that conversation with my therapist several years ago. It was one of those breakthrough moments for me. I'm still pretty pessimistic. But, not so much of a worrier anymore.

  3. Bob,

    I think one of the reasons I struggle(d) with "faith in God" (as in God securing the future for me and wanting the best for me) is the first image I was given of G-d was that He was someone who felt I deserved to be tortured for all eternity. I could not trust someone like that to look out for my future.

  4. What an excellent grasp of the subject, Bob.

    I may be naive, or too optimistic, but I really don't give fate the time of day! It sucks the life and joy out. That's the way I was raised, and the choice I've made when things, and tragedies in our life didn't make sense!

  5. I have also found that legalism works the same way...I can do good things because I am trying to earn God's favor or because I am showing appreciation for His favor. Either way the outside of the dish looks clean, but only one has a clean inside. If I trust in His sovereignty, I trust in Him no matter what my circumstance. Then my heart is right. If I resign myself to fate, that trust seems to disappear.

    Chemo or not, 5 years is a blessing.

  6. I do not have a problem with a fatalistic view of the future since I have a sovereign God who in his loving wisdom is in charge

  7. I remember that post! It was goodie (but all of yours are). I don't think I have a fatalistic view but sometimes I just don't like to think of the future...so maybe I do.

    Right now I'm listening to music so I'm cool


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply. You can click here to see my comment policy.