A Wildfire Improved My Relationship With God
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A Wildfire Improved My Relationship With God

How I put myself on a path to happiness.

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A Wildfire Improved My Relationship With God

My first thought when writing this article was, "Oh my God, my friends are going to kill me." They have tried so hard and on so many occasions to improve my morale in regards to the nature of God, yet I somehow come upon the answer on my own, completely at random. I guess he works in mysterious ways. *rimshot*

It was 100 degrees at 10 a.m. The California Sand Fire had been burning for several days and the sky was a dark brown with ash and smoke still hanging in the air. I was walking home from summer school and I decided to seek refuge in the climate controlled, ventilated, Armenian house of the God. I felt guilty using a church for their air conditioning, but I dipped my fingers in the holy water, chucked a few dollars in the donation plate and reckoned that we were even as I sat in the quiet, empty, dark room.

I then decided to do something I haven't done in years, pray. Not the repetition of the "Our Father in Mass" or the sign of the cross before meals. I actually prayed with original words coming out of my mind. (By the way, you know it's been a long time when you open your prayer with "Hey God, Matteo here... how've you been? How's Jesus?) Now, I didn't hear anything in response - and I doubt I will any time soon - but as I sat there, reviewing the circumstances that have surrounded the events of my life, I stumbled upon a thought.

I have been tested by God so many times in my life and most of the times I failed. Not "everyone makes mistakes" failures but more of "spitting in the face of God" failures. Said failures had imbued me with a great sense of guilt that led me to distance myself from God and therefore put myself under the illusion that he had abandoned me.

Yet I realized that God's continued challenging of me was an opportunity to prove myself. Even though I had failed so many times, the mere fact that challenges were continuing to come proved that, at the very least, he still has an invested interest in me - which, to me, leaves an opportunity for redemption.

I began actually praying instead of merely going through the motions and I began doing charity to help people instead of trying to pay off some morality debt. Most importantly I went around righting the people I believed I had wronged throughout the years.

In life we face challenges that can shake our sense of spirituality and morality. It is important for us to remember that, as useless and repetitive as this might sound to some of you right now, we must remember that there are people and a creator that loves us. It might not feel like it because God can't literally come down and give you a hug, but if you are truly in a place where you want to strive for happiness that's where one must start.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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