I will start by acknowledging that on my own so to speak, there really is nothing that I can do to make myself a better follower of Christ.
I have certainly come to recognize by now in my life that whatever measure of good faith and works I have in me are all a free gift and grace of God.
As a young man I certainly saw how miserable I was. That was only after the Lord had cast His light on my conscience and will.
I simply learned that I was unhappy. I was really unable to do anything meaningful about it outside of the grace of God.
I found myself on my knees beneath the crucified Christ.
I was both sinful and sorrowful and hence ready to receive the grace of forgiveness and mercy from Jesus.
But perhaps most importantly, the focus of my life and purpose was shifting from myself trying to fulfill the longings of my human self.
Now the center of my happiness lay with God who formed me and transcended my very existence.
In simple terms, He was able to take me out of myself and my selfishness and help me see and experience things as His child of mercy.
Again I think it is a large part of the "gift" of humility (which is merely a recognition of the truth about ourselves) that I saw that I was unhappy and utterly powerless to do anything about it.
Christ spoke to my heart of His mercy and forgiveness and He lifted me out of that misery.
For that I am forever grateful and remain His follower by the power of His light and grace alone.
Without God I am nothing.
With Him I am both a son and an heir to the Kingdom of Heaven. He instructs us to pray for it in the here and now in the sense of "on Earth as it is in Heaven" which is part of the Lord's Prayer.
"Our Father who art in Heaven, may Your Name be kept holy
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil. "
May this prayer become a living reality in me and in all those to whom You've given this hope.