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Religious phrases pleasing sight

Citizen Staff Writer
Teen columnist

Being that this is the last column I write that will get published in the Tucson Citizen, I’ve decided to address a problem I’ve been struggling with for a while: feeling the presence of God.

Wait! Don’t turn the page just yet, please hear me out. I am not a person of faith, I’ve never claimed to be.

Even in the midst of financial collapse, I’ve managed to find a job, am two months from graduating and have college paid for. It’s unfair, I know it is, but I’m not saying it to brag.

Yet even with all this abundance in my life, I understand what is meant by the phrase “spiritually dead.”

I hope the story I’m about to share might help those who’ve known God but grown distant to renew the relationship they once had.

About three weeks ago, I was feeling nothing. I didn’t feel happy or sad; I only felt occasional anger.

Something about this situation made me uneasy, so I sought council in a good friend, a devout but accessible Christian.

After an intense discussion on faith, morality and science, I decided to try reading the Bible. I didn’t feel any different, nor was I feeling the need to exclaim my faith to the heavens. I’d never taken the time to sit down and read the book, so I thought now was as good a time as any.

The next day after we had our talk, I went for a hike and took the Bible with me. I had been to the Tucson Mountain Park before, so this time I decided to take a different route along the mountains.

The terrain was difficult and there was no trail, but the top of a mountain seemed like a very appropriate place to find guidance from God.

As I was nearing the top, I saw a group of boulders and I headed toward them. When I reached them, I couldn’t help but smile. “Jesus saves” was written in white paint on the first stone facing me.

On all the others were written various phrases praising the glory of the Lord and the writer’s devotion to God.

I wasn’t sure what to think at that point. This place was completely remote. Plus, none of the writing was visible from the road, or even when one is climbing the mountain. A person has to reach the top to see them.

I didn’t fall to my knees at that point. I didn’t feel the spirit of God flowing through me. But I was happy those words were there.

I’ve had a lot of strange occurrences since. I wish I had more space to tell you about all of them.

About the thug-looking guy at the park who I thought was going to stab me, but instead gave me a book titled Tortured for Christ. About the random guy on the street who called out to me asking if I didn’t have time for God. About my experiences since I’ve started giving 10 percent of my paychecks to those who need it more. About the people in my life who are changing the way I look at myself and at the concept of divinity.

If you’re an atheist and you don’t care for this, that’s fine, I don’t blame you. I’ve been of the same mentality for years and I still am to a degree.

To those who do care: Remember that if you draw near to God, he will draw near to you.

Teen columnist Erick Vega is a senior at Flowing Wells High School. E-mail: somekidvega@hotmail.com


I didn’t fall to my knees at that point.’

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