Fate/God’s Will – How the idea develops in touching the void
Fate is a very unanswerable concept in this book and is explored a lot by Joe.
Firstly from a Christian point of view, fate is seen as God’s will. It means that some bad things and some good things happen but in the end it all works out for good (for those who love him). Now Joe stated that he doesn’t believe in God and for an atheist, they believe that nothing in life is predetermined and that we pilot our own lives. However, as the book progresses Joe starts to talk as if he isn’t in control. He even says “in some strange way, the very nature of the game was controlling me, taking me towards a logical but frightening conclusion”. This quote was said when he reached the summit of the mountain. He was so overwhelmed with his achievement that he believed that he couldn’t do it in his own power.
Now this book really explores whether we have the control or whether something else, whether it nature or God has it. A lot of adversities happened during the climb, especially to Joe. Now they didn’t plan any of that. They didn’t want to run out of gas, food, and water and injure themselves. They wanted to complete the mountain challenge. Now if they had the control then none of that would have happened.
At the moments when they should have died, they didn’t. If life is as logical as we make it then they shouldn’t be alive but it’s not the case. Our will isn’t God’s will. When we think it’s over, it hasn’t even started. Jeremiah 29:11-13 summarises what God has for us. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” God isn’t an evil God. People think that because He has a will for us that it’s a bad thing. No! It says plans to prosper us and give us a future so that everyone may see and believe that God has our best interest at heart. Not everyone will want to believe and that is why we have free will. We get to choose which side we are.
Away from this, I believe that Joe and Simon have something in them that wants them to believe that God is the way. That’s why when something traumatising happens unbelievers say “pray for them”, yet ‘to pray’ means to talk to God. Why is it that when we are completely vulnerable and powerless then we realize that there’s someone else bigger in control. This is what Joe experiences. He can’t control the mountains. He is crippled and slowly losing life the longer he is on the snow and ice. He can’t do it alone and he slowly starts to realize that. The amount of adversities he encountered yet he didn’t die just shows that it wasn’t his time to go. Logic says that breaking your leg on a mountain, falling into a crevasse with no food or water means that you will die yet he didn’t.
Joe even trying to find out what the void is just underlines my point of how there is a slight belief in everyone. For someone who says they don’t believe in God, why would they go to look for something which they said wasn’t there. If there’s no life after death then what were they trying to find. Again, it just shows the ignorance. I believe that everyone has that slight faith in them that they need to unlock.