Ariana reached a fork in the road in September. The first month of her freshman year at college.
While resting her chin on her hand and concentrating on the English assignment, Ariana’s dorm friends burst into her room.
“Hey, come with us to the party tonight. We’re gonna play the drinking game.”
Ariana frowned and returned to her book, “I need to study.”
“You can study later. It’s the weekend, for heaven’s sake.”
“No, thanks, I don’t drink. And even if I did, how could I party and drink all night and then sit in church the next day. Or worse yet, miss church with a hangover. It doesn’t feel right.”
“C’mon, Ariana. It’s part of the college experience. Who would know?”
Without missing a beat, Ariana looked into the eyes of her friend and said, “I will know. No. Drinking and partying … that’s not me.”
Everyone wants to fit in somewhere. According to Maslow, belonging ranks third in our hierarchy of needs. We search for it only after physical and safety needs are met and before we strive to meet our need for esteem and self-actualization.
The question is how far will we go to belong or fit in? How much will we compromise for our comfort or pleasure? How far will we bend truth to fit our desires? Or to feel good about ourselves?
At her fork in the road, Ariana decided her path based on a promise. The promise that she already belonged. She claimed the words God spoke through Isaiah, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1, NKJV)
When I stand at my forks in the road and must decide whether to follow the crowd or stand for what I know to be true, I pray I will choose as Ariana chose. A road less traveled. I bet it will make all the difference in the world.
My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course. ..O my son, give me your heart. May your eyes take delight in following my ways. (Proverbs 23:19, 25, NLT)
This story is shared with permission by the heart of Ariana’s mother who sees the young woman her daughter has become.
©2012 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.