Essay on Fate in Weatherhead’s The Will of God

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Understanding Fate in Weatherhead’s The Will of God

As I continued to chat with my pastor that day, I really sensed the hurt in his eyes – the anger that comes from an unsolvable injustice, the tiredness of a problem. “What’s wrong?” I finally asked, “Having a bad day?” Sensing that I was truly concerned, he let the truth be told. “I talked with a woman today whose baby died suddenly of unknown causes. As we worked through her grief, she talked about how numerous friends and family, even a religious leader had patted her on the back, shook their heads and said, ‘It was God’s will.’ I find few things worse to say to a grieving parent. Saying nothing at all would be of more help.” It was obvious from our conversation that he had an understanding greater than I about God’s will, and his insight created in me a curiosity and desire to learn more.

There is so much mystified confusion surrounding the will of God in today’s society. It is evident in the ways that people use the term that views about it differ widely; there is even contradiction in two things the same person might say. It is because of the recommendation of my pastor and others that I decided to read The Will of God, written by Leslie D. Weatherhead.

This book was published only after it was first a series of sermons delivered in England right after World War II. According to Weatherhead, God actually has three types of will: intentional will, circumstantial will, and ultimate will, which are all distinct from one another.

Intentional will is defined as God’s will for humans from the very start on a personal level with each human being, and as a wider goal for humanity. It is the way he would like for human life to...

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...is seems to line up well with the serenity prayer: “Lord, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Our task as humans is to discern these wills in our lives and separate them. We must not become embittered, but rather empowered, clinging to the knowledge that there is an ever-benevolent God constantly working for our good, and that he always has a plan for us amidst trial presented by life on earth. In order to discern this will though, we have to be on the lookout for it with an awareness of its separateness from our own fears and desires. This discernment is also difficult because of our limited perspectives as humans, and thus we need humility in our search. The most important thing, however, is the search itself: we must all continue to search for the will.

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