We all begin life as small children and move through our lives as we grow from babies, to small children, teenagers, adults and finally as elders. We refer to that as the Four Hills of Life as Neshnabek. I was no different growing up as a Neshnabe youth and ultimately to adulthood. Along the way, I beame introduced to many different things that initially were a bit strange to me for I could not speak English until I started school at the tender age of six.
I was educated as a Neshnabe and came to believe in all of the sacred lore and teachings of the early Neshnabek who were my teachers, peers, and leaders of that time. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I learned of the Message of God being manifested in the flesh as Jesus Christ and how he could forgive sin and fellowship with us. Most of what I had been raised with in the way of an early education of our sacred beliefs had to do with a very rigid set of rules, ceremonial observances, and yearly sacrifices. I was taught to believe and trust in this Neshnabe Way of Life and its practices, nothing about a loving God who wanted to fellowship with me.
What I have described was tradition, but it gave me no hope of something eternal, someone supernaturally alive and able to fellowship with me, as well as forgiving me of sins that I committed along life’s way. I was a very strong traditionalist among my people, able to perform all of the required ceremonies, sing all the songs, fasting often for renewal of my spiritual status as a Neshnabe, but never able to have the peace and contentment that Christ gave me upon accepting him as my God.
The Lord God became as real to me as any animal dodem, any friend I had among the Neshnabek I knew then, for he became my friend, my teacher, my comforter, my confidant, and my loving God who loved me for who I was and helped me to become who I am today. I am his creation being constantly fashioned and renewed in the vitality of his Holy Spirit, and he is constantly showing me what I need to repent from to become a better vessel of service for him. It is my intent to make my home with him eternally, forever and ever, to reign with him when he comes to gather me unto himself. That is what he has promised in his living word, known as the Bible.
I look forward to developing a relationship with my friend and God that will ultimately take me through the fires of adversity and beyond. In the scriptures, we learn that we get saved, go through a process of salvation throughout our lives, and in the end, we are truly saved forevermore. It is written, “He that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved” That word “shall” is indicative of being a promissory word that God fully intends to honor to those who overcome this world of sin and the flesh of their being they have to learn to conquer. It is the old nature of sin I speak of that we must learn to overcome if we are to spend eternity with him, our beloved God.
Nin se Neaseno aka Donald Perrot.