The following are thoughts that pertain to all people of the world. Not just those that are religious, or those of a certain faith. Yes, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Yes, I have a lot of readers of the same faith, but I also have lots of readers who are not. God does not discriminate, so neither shall I.
Eric Thomas says to “find the energy source that works for you.”
I say that religion is not a set of specific beliefs in one denomination or the other, rather, religion is your personal relationship with God. A church, or a specific branch of faith, is just a bunch of believers gathering together to uplift each other and come closer to God in the process.
In my ongoing surveying of all manner of teenagers (take the survey here: https://forms.gle/eNewbpk6q45H6hM6A), I have gotten an incredible amount of unique responses to the prompt “Describe how God interacts with you personally.” This wide amount of variation shows that God knows each of us personally. It delights me to see that many individuals recognize His presence in their lives.
He truly is an energy source. My peers submitted such responses as music, conversations, a nudge to serve, and peace in the act of doing good or praying. I continue to be floored as I scroll through the submissions to this question. An outstanding number of teenagers are going through extremely difficult things. Yet, there is an outstanding amount of answers saying that God helps them through the darkest times of their life.
What a testimony to the character of God! To see so many people testify of His Reality and Comfort even in the depths of despair is truly moving.
Refer back to the energy sources I listed above: music, conversations, a nudge to serve, feelings of peace in good doing. These are all interactions. Think of how one might develop a relationship with another human through those interactions. The bonding power of having a quality conversation with someone. The love shared when a kind deed is done to another. The powerful effect of hearing a song written and produced by another human, feeling that it was written just for you.
Just as you can strengthen a relationship with a friend or loved one by doing such interactions, you can strengthen your relationship with God through doing the same interactions. Think of Him as a person, because He really is. He gets it. When you realize He’s a real person with a real personality, it is so much easier to build a friendship with Him.
If you need to, put in your Heavenly AirPod each morning and call Him up. Then just keep Him on the line the whole day. You don’t have to talk the whole time, it’s just about knowing that He’s there.
If I could say one thing that all of religion boils down to, and quite frankly the core of my being, it is this:
Relationship with God.