By Jontae Grace
I’m beginning to think that even our mistakes are planned. It stands to reason that, just as God uses others to bless us, to enter our lives with relief, assistance and encouragement, he would also use them to bring warnings, discipline and all manner of lessons. It doesn’t make them a bad person; it just means that one person is serving a purpose, and the other person is being taught a lesson.
In these scenarios, someone must be the bad guy. And as much as we like to be the protagonist in our life’s story, the antagonist can’t always be the other person. Sometimes YOU are the tool that God uses to forge a lesson into a blessing. The fire can be hot bro, believe me.
But in many ways, our weaknesses are used to bring about good. This concept is hardly new, when a person’s character flaws both weaken and bolster them. Samson comes to mind, with hair that strengthened him, and the loss of which was his undoing.
Often, the same thing that got me into trouble, got me out of it. My wide-eyed idealism, my unyielding belief that things will always work out has sometimes caused me to take chances that reason and common sense should have “nigga please’d” me. But I did it anyway, why? Because…. of my unyielding belief that things will always work out. Even in my foolish moments, I ALWAYS believe that I will walk away unscathed. And let’s just say, sometimes I don’t.
I’ve driven dope cars, wrecked ’em, and got a better one. I’ve lost good women, only to find…at least a sidegrade. Don’t laugh. Black women are all so beautiful and accomplished across the board, that often the only thing that separates them is which one is down for you. THERE IS NO UPGRADE. YOU ALWAYS WIN if you know what to look for.
Its easy to find a beautiful one, or an accomplished one. That’s not the criteria I use. She must funnel her efforts and resources in your direction, and behave in your best interests to be considered ‘a good one’. In fact, that’s the only measuring stick you should use – ever – be you male or female.
But I digress.
This talk of planned choices and scripted bloopers brings us to the real issue: destiny versus free will. It’s a sardonic form of irony, to think that your fuckups might actually be part of the plan, but since the world is ordered in pairs-Good and Evil, yin and yang, etc., then it would make sense that the good is planned, just as the bad. The pendulum must swing to both ends of the spectrum.
I used to have conflicting opinions about destiny and free will. I thought that my belief in one meant rejection of the other. If everything is written and already planned, then everything we do is already foretold, and we shouldn’t strive to achieve anything, right? We could just sit back, and watch the story play out, powerless to affect it.
Or if we have supreme control over our destinies, then everything that happens is a result of cause and effect, and we are responsible for all outcomes, regardless of situations and circumstances. You’re even responsible for things you didn’t know, right?
I think that there is a middle way. How about this: the DESTINATION is preplanned, but the route to get there is wide and varied. You know three different ways to get to work, right? But if you fuck up and leave the house late, you’re gonna take the backstreets and avoid the freeway. Same thing.
Let’s stay off the topics of war and genocide and Holocaust-types of bad, and focus solely on the ups and downs of romantic relationships. I think we take the negative experiences too hard, forgetting that any failed enterprise can be turned into a positive, if we look for ways to make it so.
A person may not be in your life for the entire ride, as you sometimes hope. We all know the reason/season/lifetime saying, but we forget that WE can also be the reason, season, or lifetime in OTHER people’s lives. And although it sucks, there is no greater honor than to be used as an Instrument of The Most High. If I can’t be a good example, I’ll settle for being a cautionary tale.