Supernatural Sundays – God’s Will

supernatural castielOnce Supernatural brought in the angels in season four, the writers spent a lot of time playing around with the concept of God’s Will. It was God’s Will that the boys would be the vessels for Michael and Lucifer, and had been God’s plan all along. In one episode, Dean was sent back in time to try to stop the yellow-eyed demon from interfering with their family and eventually killing their mother. No matter what Dean tried to do, he found that he couldn’t alter the course, and when brought back to the present was told that some things are unchangeable. They were God’s Will.

This reminds me of the part in Groundhog Day where Bill Murray tries day after day to save the old man who dies in the alley. No matter what he did, the old man died.

But God’s Will is introduced before this in an earlier season where the boys come up against a spirit who people think is an angel – an avenging angel who instructs people to kill others. The ‘angel’ leads the people to believe that his messages come directly from God.

Sam discovers it is the spirit of a priest, trying to purge evil from his parish and stops him. Meanwhile, Dean followed one of the men who had been slotted to be ‘purged.’ The man meets his demise in a most incredible way. This is the scene that follows:

I think that the question of God’s Will, or fate, or ‘written in the stars’, or however you choose to label the concept that some things are simply out of our control is one that touches close to the heart for a lot of us. Some of us, like Sam, want to think that some things are in more powerful hands than ours. Some of us, like Dean, want to think that we are in complete control of our own destinies, and every once in a while we see things that we can’t explain.

So many other shows, books, and movies have used this theme successfully. What are some of your favorites?

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About Michelle L. Johnson

Agent with Inklings Literary Agency, Author, and occasional wannabe comedienne. Firm believer in all things caffeinated. Represented by Jamie Bodnar Drowley.

Posted on December 16, 2012, in Supernatural Sundays and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Interesting you should bring this up, Michelle, because that is the underlying theme of my WIVEP (Work in Very Early Progress). The hero must accept God’s will to be saved, and the heroine must find a way to change it (free will). When I first tried to write the story, I really tiptoed around the theme, and it didn’t work at all. I found I had to write the story honestly in order for the characters to and the plot to grow.

    Sometimes it’s scary to write about God. You know you will probably alienate some readers and some editors, but in this case, it’s part of the story. By the end, the characters believe… though not in a formal, doctrine-related way. And they must believe for the story to work. Hope I can pull it off!

    Supernatural continues to be an inspiration! Thank you, Michelle, for bringing up this theme!

    • That sounds interesting, Paula!
      It is very scary when writing any type of biblical fanfic. The alienation and downright outrage that can occur are the reasons that many write under a pen name. Part of the reason for this blog, and for using Supernatural as an inspiration for me, is that we want to bring awareness and acceptance to it.
      Because we aren’t trying to rewrite the Bible – we’re writing fiction.
      Thanks for your comment, Paula!

  2. The concept of God’s Will is one I absolutely love, Michelle. The Matrix did it perfectly with Neo: was he The One from the beginning, or did he only become The One when he gained enough confidence in his actions? He pondered the phrase on the wall of the Oracle’s house: “Know Thyself.” Did he know he was destined to be The One or did he choose to become The One based on the actions he took to get there? Would another road, another path of choices, have brought them to the same end because it was fated?

    It’s an issue I tackle in book 2 of my Vesper series, where one character refers to fate as a woven tapestry, saying the Fates lay out our choices in colors and shades of cruelty and kindness, and we choose the colors but the Fates weave the pattern and the design is the same in the end. My main character must choose whether to weave with blackness as a tyrant, squashing the light out of others along the way or weave with colors on the loom of Fate to support the brightness of those around him… But in the end, the design is the same, only a shade of his choosing: leaving behind a different hue by which to be remembered.

    Think it’s the same with Neo in The Matrix: the steps he took to become The One were inevitable, he simply chose which direction to take and which colors to weave along the way? Or did he only become The One based on the choices he made, and had he chosen differently, would have perished as a nobody?

    Oh, this topic spins my brain. Love it. 😀

    • Ooooo… I love the idea of the Fates weaving a tapestry and we may but choose our colors! Lovely image as well as a fascinating take on destiny, and a terrific inner conflict for your characters. Can’t wait to read this, Nola!

      • Thank you, Paula! 🙂 The concept of the tapestry came from my mother, who says we can only see the tangled mess on the underside of the tapestry that wraps us up to form a perfect piece of work, when viewed from outside. I decided to add idea of the colors for the choices we make, affecting the shade but not the design, when I had a character choose a path that was dark, but spared pain from others.

  3. I have a similar thread in my novel, where Julia (my MC) is chosen to become something more than she is. But by the end of the story we see that if she follows what is fated for her to become, then the angels will no longer have the one weapon they need in order to battle darkness. That weapon, of course, is Julia in her half-human, half archangel form.

    I love your connection to the Matrix, because throughout the story, Neo had so many choices to make, so many different paths. The white rabbit. The red pill or the blue pill (I still say those look suspiciously like Dayquil and Nyquil gelcaps). Answer the phone, believe in himself.
    Choice vs. Fate.

    Interestingly, just after I finished writing this post I sat down to get my Supernatural fix and saw the Season Six episode where Fate comes after Sam and Dean. Expect a Supernatural Sundays post about that one in the near future!

  4. All of your stories sound incredibly interesting to me, ladies. 🙂 I hate that there is some sort of stigma about writing these types of stories, when it’s actually the oldest themes in the world, right? Nearly every story ultimately is about good versus evil, in one way or another. But for some reason, if you actually come out and say “God” or “angels” or anything remotely biblical, it turns people off. I don’t understand it. I, for one, would much rather read about angels and demons than vampires or werewolves. Of course that’s a personal preference and we all know this business is incredibly subjective. But for me personally, angels and demons are much more real. Probably why I’m such a big Supernatural fan. 😉 Of course, they have vampire & werewolf storylines too (that have been awesome!!) But hopefully, everyone understands what I’m attempting to say. 🙂

    Nola, I love the Matrix connection you brought up. I always wondered the same – if Neo realized he was The One all along but was in denial? Did he need it proven to him? As for God’s will in our lives, it’s a very intriguing concept and I often wonder about it, if all things are predetermined. Of course our choices matter and mold our lives but has everything already been decided, that certain things will definitely happen, no matter how we try to stop them? Does God already know the decisions we will make? If we make the wrong ones, are we punished? I’m endlessly fascinated by it and we may never know the real answers. I’m also reminded of the Supernatural episode when Balthazar (correct me if I’m wrong about this) changed history so that the Titanic never sank and the ramifications of that one history change, how it affected everything. Perhaps that is a whole ‘nother blog post. 😉

    I love these discussions. 🙂

    • Amy, that is the episode I was just talking about. Balthazar unsunk the Titanic, stating that he just hated the Celine Dion song, and if the boat hadn’t sunk the movie would never have been made and therefore the song never written. That in itself made me laugh until my stomach hurt!
      But in that episode, Fate runs around killing the offspring of the survivors, and then gets Sam and Dean in her sights. It was a hilarious and yet still thought-provoking episode. Definitely worth doing a post about in the future!

      • Oh yes! I couldn’t remember if it was because he hated the movie or the song. 😉 Im on season 5 now so I should get to that one in a few weeks. You know, assuming the world doesn’t end. Ha. I remember laughing a lot at that but then of course, in typical Supernatural fashion, it got serious and sad. I’ve always had a fascination with Titanic – the real event, not the Cameron film, although I did like it.

  5. Excellent blog!!! The idea of God’s Will also brings about thoughts of Lord of The Rings… watched Fellowship this afternoon and Gandalf actually said Frodo was “meant” to find the ring, and to be the one to destroy it. Though they don’t come out and say it, I think that is also one of the ways God’s Will is used in a much beloved story.

  6. Really thought provoking post! I love in Back to the Future when George McFly says to Lorraine, “I’m your density … I mean your destiny.”

    I have a thread in my book about Destiny Path which is the will of the Creator. Some of my characters try to follow theirs, others deny that it even exists, but it seems to have a pull on all of them regardless of their willingness to embrace it. In the end, the choice is theirs.

  7. This conversation reminds me of Joss Whedon’s Angel, the vampire with a soul. Angel’s destiny is foretold in an ancient scroll in a lost language, but no one can agree on exactly what it says. Is Angel destined to die? To bring about the Apocalypse? To save the world? Or all of the above? Angel finally takes matters into his own hands and makes his own destiny. Of course, we’re never completely sure what that destiny is.

    I have to admit that I both love and hate the end of that series!

    ~ Paula

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