You're Going to Feel Like Alice.

            There is a woman I notice every time I go to Zumba class. You can't miss her. 

            Everyone is nearly in perfect harmony with their dance moves...they move left at the same time, and right at the same time. They turn around altogether on each count of the music. And then there is this lady in the middle of the room, just doing her own thing. I don't know her name, so we will call her Alice. She is listening to the very same music as everyone else, but she is twisting and turning all different ways and completely out of sync with the rest of us. It is not that she cannot dance...she just has her own song and dance happening within her. We move left, she bops up and down. We move right, she spins in a circle.

            I love to glance over at her throughout the class. I love it because I love people who are not at all afraid to do their own thing. I met up for coffee with two former teens this week who took up the challenge to spend their freshman year of college living lives of faith and virtue. While it was challenging for them, they shared with me how much their decision positively impacted their entire first year of college. While reflecting on our conversations, the other night it occurred to me how much Alice looks like a young person who has decided to live a life contrary to our culture's norms. She is not doing what everyone else is doing. She is marching to the beat of her own drum, doing what she has decided to do. The thing about living a life of faith as a young person is this...

            You are going to feel like Alice. 

           This may be some of the time, or a lot of the time. You are going to know you are doing something different than most everyone else who surrounds you. You will know that while people are moving left and right, you are spinning around. You will feel out of sync with the way people your age are moving. It is inevitable, yet it is worthwhile.

            And as I think further about Alice, my respect for her grows because it is very apparent - she does not care what anyone else is doing or thinking.

            Alice wants to do what makes her the happiest woman she can be. She is not concerned with going with the flow, or following the lead of someone else, or with what everyone else thinks about her dance moves. She dances the ways she wants to because that is who she is.

            We are moving into this new school year, and for many it is the first weekend in high school or college or back in college. I just wanted to write to you to encourage you today...if you have decided to be like Alice...stand strong and march to the beat of your own drum. Have the courage to do what you know is best for you, not what everyone else seems to be doing.

            Never be afraid to stand for your convictions and do your own dance and let people be amazed by you.