Lately, I’m drowning in choices, so it was perfect timing that I saw The Adjustment Bureau yesterday. Totally rocked. It’s loosely inspired by Philip K. Dick’s short story, “Adjustment Team.”
The movie explores the conflict between a person’s free will to choose and the “Chairman’s” (or God’s, or the Universe’s) plan. The Adjustment Bureau’s agents run around and cause tiny little changes—small moments of serendipity (or bad luck) that create a life-altering change in a person’s life. Here’s the trailer, if you haven’t seen it:
While I’ve been swimming through a sea of choices in my life, I realized that I have great faith in serendipity, but I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Worse, I have little faith in planning—
God likes to laugh.
The biggest choices in my life weren’t choices. I planned on being a vocal accompanist, but I got sick for ten years. I decided I was grateful, because I ended up teaching, and I truly believe I was meant to do that, and I wouldn’t take that back for the world. I loved every minute of it, minus a few parents.
While I was happily teaching, writing started taking over my life. It was never a decision—more like the universe eventually persuaded me to focus on writing.
The whole ebook formatting career was another happy accident. (One I’m grateful for every day. It sorta feels like all of you led me there, by asking me to do this little techie thing or another. Thanks!)
So you can see why I distrust plans. And choices? After the universe made me sick for ten years, I have this fear that if I make the wrong choice, the universe will rain down hell to get me back on the path it prefers. Or I fear wasting a bunch of time planning, only to have God laugh and send me off in a totally different direction.
Life is unpredictable.
On the other hand, I made a plan to move into a camper. I spent years de-cluttering, planning, and whittling down possessions. I researched for years, and then I made it happen. No serendipity there, and God (knock on wood) didn’t laugh. (Phew!)
As I was walking and and looking at the moon and stars tonight, I realized that I was a bit afraid of making plans, given my life’s history. But there are things I want, and I want to make them happen, too.
It comes down to free will, choice, and planning versus serendipity, chance, and God’s/the Universe’s/the Whatever’s plan.
Being a Libra, I generally come down smack in the middle, but I think for the next year, I’m going with free will, choice, and planning.
What about you? How have your big plans worked out in life? Has the Universe ever altered those plans in a big way? And what about serendipity? Or bad luck? Do you ever just want to throw up your hands and stop planning, because the Universe seems to have its own plan for you? Or do your plans mostly work out?