Karl Armentrout

Bologna, Italy

A Successful Life

I have always wanted to be a good person.  You know, the type of person that everybody likes and that helps other people.  I wanted to make people laugh and I wanted people to enjoy being around me.  I wanted to make a difference in this world.  I wanted my time on this earth to mean something.  I wanted my life to be a success.  Have you ever felt this way?    

For a long time I thought the way to accomplish this was to do more good than bad.  Each day I split my life between a scale.  On one side of the scale I put all of the good things I had done that day, like helping someone.  On the other side I put all of the bad things, you fill in the blank on this one.  As long as the good outweighed the bad, I felt okay about the day.  I always wanted to have a perfect day where I did nothing wrong but instead did only good for people.  This never happened.  In fact, most of the time I had done more bad than good as I totalled up the day.  This is a pretty lousy way to go through life.  I found myself thinking that my life wouldn't matter–that some day I would be gone and no one would care.  No one would notice.  I realized I was unable to control the direction of my life and whether or not it would be a "good" life. 

Then something happened.  I recognized that I needed help figuring out how to live my life.  I came to the conclusion that other people would fail in helping me decide how to live my life because they were just as confused as me.  The only person that actually knew enough to tell me the best way to live and who loved me enough that I could trust was God.  It makes sense doesn't it?  God is all-knowing, so he knows everything and can tell me the best things to do.  He is the very definition of love, so he will always do what is best for me.

Then I found out that in order for me to connect with God and find out his plan for me I needed to follow Jesus.  God sent Jesus to earth to connect with mankind.  He did this by paying a price for our sin – all of the wrong that we do.  These wrong things that we do separate us from God and prevent us from knowing his love and plan for our lives.  So, when we accept the payment that Jesus made for us and follow him, we are connected to the true God who loves us.    

Now I live my life following Jesus and asking him how to live my life.  He guides me in the best way to live.  I have peace and joy for each day because I know that I am living the best way possible.  Now I have purpose in my life.

There are still times when I do something wrong.  My life is far from perfect.  But, I know that I am connected to God and that he has forgiven me.  I can live each day knowing that I am on the right path.  I know that my life will be successful.

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