Have you ever taken the time to explore new things? Was it to a place where you stayed for awhile, or was it just a temporary exploration? How did it make your life different?
I often think about the Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch youth who have the option to be “in the world,” before they are baptized as life-long members of their church. This ‘rumspringa’ is when the youth explore other activities such as smoking, drinking beer, listening to music, and talking on cell phones. Many choose to wear something other than their plain clothes. When this period is over, they either join the church or they leave their community.
Making The Change Can Be Hard
I watched the movie Grace Unplugged a few years ago. It tells the story of a young Christian woman named Grace, who finds herself trying to decide how to fulfill her dream of becoming a famous singer and guitar player. Although her dad wants her to stay at the church to use her talent there, Grace is anxious to go out into the world. Could this be her “rumspringa?” Her parents can only pray she will make the best decision. Will she return home or will she stay out on the road performing in front of thousands of fans? Watch the movie today.
Several of my own experiences have led me to a fork in a road. Which way do I go? I’m not sure if I’ve always picked the best one, but I have learned lessons along the way. After moving from a conservative town to a more liberal one, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people. I registered for 3 Meetup groups: LGBT, golf, and writing.
The first meetup was for LGBT. I arrived early and missed the $5 entrance fee by walking in the back. The room was dark with little lighting. There were couches, chairs beside tables, and a bar. Another room held a piano. I spoke with one woman for an hour, as we shared our stories and church experiences. Others came into the room, some as couples, others are singles, and not all were women.
After my new friend left to greet others, a young man stood up proudly and said, Welcome to the Charlotte Black Gay Pride night. ‘Hmm, no wonder why I don’t see other white people here.’ I didn’t feel out of place because I wasn’t black, didn’t drink, or wasn’t willing to hook up with anyone. Honestly, I felt out of place because of my age and my gray hair. It was still a good experience and I’m proud of myself for exploring a new territory.
No matter when you decide to step out and try something new, it’s good to let others know what we’re up to, so you are safe. Many people go through similar times of exploration in their lifetime, even when they didn’t plan on it. These would be those who experience a divorce or death of a spouse. It’s good to change things up once in awhile.
Where will you explore next? Share with us in the comments.