Everything Happens For A Reason

Everything happens for a reason…or does it?

It is a common saying, “Everything happens for a reason,” and is often attributed to a person’s faith, yet those words are never explicitly stated in the bible. People often draw upon various scriptures to convey the concept that unforeseen events will have a fortunate ending if you can only believe dark times will get brighter. It is also a popular theme in novels and cinema.

 

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In literature, the “everything happens” theme is sometimes portrayed as a character’s destiny and can hint at a greater conflict of fate versus free will. The opposing dogmas of destiny and free will are present in several novels. “No Country for Old Men,” “Slaughter House Five,” “Wicked,” “A Tale of Two Cities,” “Moby Dick,” to name a few.

In cinema, one of the more interesting displays of destiny and free will is in the movie “Forrest Gump” (the novel while a little rougher around the edges has a similar theme and not quite as rosy as the movie). Forrest accepts all of life’s detours and challenges, in part because he is trying to determine his destiny and “everything happens for a reason.” Conversely, Jenny spends most of her life suffering due to her inability to accept her fate and circumstance.

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Where do you see the struggle of fate and free will in fiction? Is it a reflection of reality and a person’s struggle to accept fate or force their free will upon life? I look forward to reading your responses!

Ecclesiastes 3:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

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Posted on February 1, 2013, in Books, Movies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Wow, Jamie I love that verse!! I love Forest Gump, although having people walk up to me and say, “I love you, Jenny.” while I worked in a place where I had to wear a name badge was fun. 😉 I truly believe things happen for a reason. And I love in movies and books when that’s explored. The Matrix is an awesome example of fate and free will. Neo was The One. Yet there had been so many before him. And it was orchestrated by The Architect. But he still ended up choosing to be The One. (Not really an example of things happening for a reason, lol.)

    • Love the Matrix, that is such a great example of fate and free will. Another example given today via twitter was Stephen King’s The Stand and Frodo in the Lord of the Rings.

      I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason…look how we met! Perfect example!!!

      Thank you Jenny for stopping by (okay, I was trying to use my Forrest Gump voice. LOL!)

  2. I’m exploring this in my (…one of my :)) WiP’s. It’s funny, as a nonreligious person and not growing up as such, I wouldn’t think these ‘biblical’ themes would come up in my stories – but they do, and I don’t set out for them to. Kind of snazzy.

    Anyway, that’s why this blog is so cool, it bringes those gaps that I, for one, would have never considered. Good stuff…

  3. The movie SIGNS by M. Night Shyamalan was the first thing to pop into my mind… Bo’s penchant for being unhappy with her water, thus leaving glasses of it everywhere, Morgan’s asthma, Merrels’ inability to NOT swing at the ball… all led to the family surviving the aliens’ attack, ultimately restoring Graham’s faith in a loving God who armed them with the tools they’d need in the crisis.

    I love this movie, what it represents and, if one lets it, the thoughts it can provoke.

    Although the Bible doesn’t say everything happens for a reason, Romans 8:28 says “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Even if it doesn’t happen for a reason, God can and WILL use it for the good of those who love Him. Keep in mind it says ‘all things’, not SOME things, a FEW things, or even MOST things. ALL THINGS.

  1. Pingback: Everything Happens For A Reason | JBodnarDrowley

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