Friends, meet Alan.

He is 16 years old.  Alan has been coming to the youth group and hanging out with our family for about a year now.  (Madeline thinks Alan is her best friend.)

One of the things I admire about Alan is his willingness to try new things; he's brave.  You see, since Alan has been hanging out with us, he's done the following things for the very first time:

  • Been to a concert of ANY kind
  • Spent a night away from home/family
  • Been out of the state of Alabama (we live roughly 30 minutes from Tennessee and 45 from Georgia)
  • Been to an indoor pool
  • Played Marco Polo
  • Played disc golf
  • Played pool
  • Played air hockey
  • Been to Chuck E. Cheese
  • Been to a driving range
  • Tied a tie
  • Been geocaching
  • Prayed out loud (in front of another person)
  • Memorized a Bible verse
  • Eaten an omlette
  • Eaten stuffed pasta shells
  • Eaten taco soup
  • Made and eaten a homemade milkshake
  • Been to Bridge Street (a mall across town)

When it came to our attention that Alan was 16 years old and had never tried or done any of these things, it became a game of sorts. What can we introduce Alan to?  What can we make him do?  His comfort zone is constantly being challenged and stretched, and he always rises to the occasion.  Is there anything he won't try?

So here is a list of some more things that Alan has never done, which we plan on tackling one at a time.

Alan has never:

  • been bowling  (WHAT!?!)
  • been camping
  • been on a boat/canoe/plane/train
  • been to the beach/ocean  (WHAT!?!?)
  • ridden a roller coaster
  • been putt-putt golfing
  • tried sushi
  • done the electric slide (or the cupid shuffle)
  • played monopoly
  • played poker (or Uno)
  • baked a cake (cooked or baked anything)
  • ridden a horse
  • fired a gun
  • changed a tire (or oil)

Can you even believe that!?!?  (I hope you're feeling blessed right now.)  I've written all of this at Dan's urging and with Alan's permission - and now the three of us want to hear from you!

What things do you think everyone should do at least once?  What life-enriching things does Alan just HAVE to do? I'm not talking about life list kind of stuff; there are a lot of people who have never been skydiving.  But what should every 16-year-old guy have done in life?  What would you like to see him try?  Please, share!

We've had a lot of fun getting to know Alan; he's a great guy.  This whole experience has reminded us how worthwhile it is to be secure enough in yourself (and to be thirsty enough for life) to try new things.  To be ever-stretching and growing.

God is good; life is good.  Seize the day!