Solomon was not saying that births and deaths are predestined. Rather, his point is that births and deaths, like many things in life, come in endless cycles. Certainly, life will have its ups and downs. “There is . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh,” says Solomon. Such repeated patterns and unforeseen calamities, Solomon shows, are common to life, to “every affair under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; 9:11, 12) His conclusion, therefore, is not to get so swept up in our daily affairs that we overlook our Creator.—Ecclesiastes 12:1, 13.
Though our Creator understands life and death completely, he does not force a destiny on us. The Bible teaches that God offers all of us the prospect of living forever. But God does not compel us to accept his offer. Instead, his Word says: “Let anyone that wishes take life’s water free.”—Revelation 22:17.
Yes, we must want to “take life’s water.” Thus, our future is not determined by fate. Our own decisions, attitudes, and actions have a real impact on our future.