Feb 13

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Some of you have heard, “Que sera, sera,” but do you know what the words mean? Well, the words go back a few years, in fact, they go back to when we older folks were young folks. They are the opening words of a song, sung by Doris Day in 1956, written by the team of Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. The song was introduced in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” starring Doris Day and James Stewart. This information does not, of course, tell us what the words mean. Well, they mean, “Whatever will be, will be,” and the song goes on with the words, “The future’s not ours to see, Que sera, sera, What will be, will be.”
So why are we writing about this? The words express an idea which is often heard today. They express a philosophy (The most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes by which a person lives.) which is much embraced today. It is called, “fate,” and means: “the development of events beyond a person’s control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power; to predetermine, as by decree of fate.” In other words, “what will be, will be!” It carries with it the idea that there is nothing you can do that will change the future; it will be! In one respect, it is a deadend way of looking at life! It relieves one of all responsibility; it removes cause and effect from one’s life. One is free to do whatever, it will not change the future, it will not change the result; as “whatever will be, will be!”
A little history might be useful in this study. Just where and when did this idea first appear? John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, first adopted the “Italian” form of the words as a family motto in 1525. This was done after his experience at the Battle of Pavia. On the other hand, the “Spanish” form of the words appeared on a brass plaque in the Church of St. Nicholas, dated 1559. Just as note of interest, no history in Spain or France on these words, and in fact, is ungrammatical in these Romance languages. So, how do the words get from this background, to Doris Day? Livingston and Evans had some knowledge of Spanish, and early in their career they worked together as musicians on cruise ships to the Caribbean and South America. Composer Jay Livingston had seen the 1954 Hollywood film The Barefoot Contessa, in which a fictional Italian family has the motto “Che sarà sarà” carved in stone at their ancestral mansion. He immediately wrote it down as a possible song title, and he and lyricist Ray Evans later gave it a Spanish spelling “because there are so many Spanish-speaking people in the world.” (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
This way of thinking, which becomes a way of living, is somewhat, if not all together hopeless! It removes all reason to hope; hope meaning, expectation of good. If your life is going bad, “whatever will be, will be;” and you cannot change it, where is hope! You might just think, “Life is not worth living!” It is interesting to learn, that in America, in 2013, 41,149 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death in America. The number one reason for suicide is hopelessness! It is expressed in the word: depression! If there is nothing you can do to change the future of your life, as in “whatever will be, will be,” depression just may result!
However, this is not the teaching of Christ! This teaching, first teaches forgiveness through obeying the gospel of Christ: believing, repenting, confessing, and being baptized unto the forgiveness of sins! Second, it teaches newness of life: “therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). This all started in God’s love; therefore, the gospel teaches that God loves us, this love is so great that he gave his “only begotten Son” to die on the cross that we might have life, and have it more abundantly (John 3:16, & 10:10).
My friends, the teaching of Christ does not teach “fate,” but it does teach that you can change your life; you can change it now and eternally.

— Frank R. Williams

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