I never really fit in.
From the time I was young, I never really belonged to one crowd. I had my foot in a few groups through junior high and high school - I was an orchestra and choir geek but I was also a varsity athlete. I went to Young Life with all the popular Christian kids, but I also went to parties on Friday nights after football games, where everyone drank, smoked and got into trouble. I was well-liked by all of my teachers, but I always preferred sitting in the back of the class with the jokers. I went to football games and wore my red white and blue, but found myself more comfortable among the parents than with the other kids.
I was raised by nonreligious parents in the south. I became a conservative evangelical Christian in Boulder, Colorado. I moved to Portland, Oregon, but it took me years to even consider the idea that I could vote democrat and still be a Christian. My faith did a 180 and now I'm a progressive, post-evangelical Christian living in the most conservative state in the Union.
A perpetual fish out of water. I'm thirty years old and finally starting to feel comfortable in my gills.
When we walk into the cafeteria of life, carrying our lunch trays and our backpacks full of life experience, there are tables everywhere. The cool kids, the popular kids, the jocks, the artists, the Pinterest moms, the professional folks in fancy suits, the fitness and health nuts, the handmade crafters, the hipsters and fashion lovers, the democrats and republicans, the reformed crew, the Catholics, the activists and slackers, and more. Some people cross over, some don't. They're all welcoming, for sure, but I don't really fit at any of the tables.
And that's okay, because I'm learning more and more there are far more people dancing in the aisles of the cafeteria than those that are firmly planted in their seats. At some point, we all feel like we don't fit. It just takes courage to throw our lunch trays in the air and remember that we're all made for something - even if its dancing in the aisles.
Some of us are meant to be misfits.
And the cafeteria is a little louder, a little crazier, a little more colorful, thanks to us.
Thank God for that.