Apparently, I was supposed to have been posting my progress on my learning memoir over these last two weeks. Since my very first assignment was to design the inciting incident and climax, I’ll begin with these two in separate paragraphs:
For most of my childhood, I had been raised up in a church environment but wasn’t very intrigued by very much of it. I was one of those children that basically went through the motions and wanted to get baptised so I could see what the drink and bread for communion tasted like. This went on for quite some time, up until we moved away from Michigan over to Washington when I was about 14 years old. I’m still not sure to this day what inspired me to visit our new pastor after one sunday service, but it completely changed my life. I asked him rather nervously about Hell and whether or not just wanting to stay in good standing would be enough to save myself from a bad situation. He seemed to give me a nuetral expression implying that this was a question he was pretty used to before answering: “The problem is that you’re looking for fire insurance. That’s not really how God works.” I realized at that point he was right. I hadn’t quite gotten into theology yet at this point, but this was the day that the mental cogs began to spin and lead me towards a desire to know more about God and the world present in the Bible.
After deciding to put a little more of my time towards religious pursuits, I figured I’d start attending a youth group on Thursdays. While the previous two churches in my life had introduced me to God, this was the church that challenged me to question my faith and why I held the beliefs that belonged to myself. It wasn’t the kind of gathering where everyone had been life long Christians and everyone was unanimous in what specifically they believed. In fact, some of them weren’t sure what they believed and were just trying to see what God was all about. I spoke with people who struggled with serious addictions, who had overcome abuses at home and countless other tragic circumstances. The atmosphere was far more intense and emotional than anything I had ever experienced in a church before. It was here that they would bring in people who were “forged through fire” so to speak, giving their testimonies and what brought them to God. To me, this was where scripture left the pages of the book and had begun to pour out into my personal life. This was the point where I began giving the actual study of theology much more serious thought. My fascination for studying God’s word was compounded even further one night when one of the volunteer adults working at the church was discussing religion versus faith with me. Ray, the man I was speaking with, basically explained to me that while religion is a structure that assists people in getting to know God, our relationship with God is what the Bible focuses on above all else. It was at this point I began to look a little more into scripture, and had begun reading the Bible from beginning to end at a pace that would take me almost a year and a half.