From Comfort Zones to Gwen Stefani's Tears

I'm an introvert. I always have been. I'm not comfortable in loud, crowded, tight spaces. I get very anxious and it takes all of my energy to produce a smile, much less a conversation. I'd really like for this to not be the case. But I for the most part cannot help it as much as I'd like to. In fact last month at the Richmond Tuesdays Together meeting I was so excited to introduce myself to everyone I've never met, and to chat with so many people that I look up to and admire. Well hundreds of people were there and I was so intimidated. I'm not nervous to talk to people I look up to...I just don't really know where to start. Everyone was already in deep conversations and it was so loud! Well I took a glance at one young lady a few years older than me styling some florals and invites on the floor by a lovely mustard chair in the midst of all this, to me, chaos! She was so calm and most importantly, by herself. I took my opportunity and went up and intoduced myself! Go Shannon! Except not yet becuase I could barely think with it being so loud-my head was killing me! She was asking all these nice things about me and I couldn't come up with A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G. to ask her! That is embarrassing. Since she was kneeling over her pretties I decided to sit on the floor too. Next thing I know I'm just sitting behind this mustard chair on the floor letting this girl be so kind to me. 

I can't stop thinking about how awkward I must have been, and by the 4 minutes I spent talking with/at Tara I know she's the kind of person who would just say "Oh stop! I had fun! It was great to meet you!". Thank goodness the one person I managed to talk to picked up on this awkwardness and embraced it.
Tara you are a lovely soul! 

Now this thought of being comfortable still goes a bit further for me. Let's take last night for example. 

We hosted a viewing party for my twin brother's audition for The Voice at a pub last night and there were also hundreds of people there. For the most part I knew everyone. But then I did a double take because I didn't realize I knew THAT MANY PEOPLE! The room was PACKED! And they all showed up to support my brother! You see my twin is the extrovert(and to the MAX I might add). He's been preforming since he was 6 years old and hasn't taken a break. Every Christmas production at our church(months of rehearsals, late nights, and 18 live shows) is not just for fun or about using his talent, but about blessing people with his talent and using off stage time to develop relationships. Remember the hundreds of people I mentioned at the party last night? I said I know them but what I mean is I've been around them at church since I was 2 and "know" them. My brother knows them. He is so genuin and is always carrying out conversations with everyone he talks to. When he says you're his friend he absoltely means it.
If you saw his interview before he sang you know that he plays for Alzheimers and Dementia paitents in his spair time. But that's not all. He will go to McDonalds and load up his car with food, but he's not hungry for all that food. No, he's hungry for ministry. He loads his car with food and drives around giving it out to the homeless and to anyone who looks like they could use a bite to eat. He leads worship with the most genuin passion for the lord that I've ever seen. And you can almost tell when he's gone too long without reading scripture. His eagerness to just live makes me sick about myself always hiding behind the mustard chair. 

I let my being an "introvert" define me and keep me from doing amazing things. 
My brother got all four coaches to turn their chairs and is now taking his ministry to an industry that pushes God away day in and day out. And that is a result from a lifetime of LIVING with a PURPOSE. And in this case thats only 20 years! Yet I'm his twin and feel like I've wasted so much time compared to him. And I know, I know. We are different people with different talents and different lives. But COME ON! How many of us can say that we have lived this much? When I think about my comfort zone I imagine knitting at home and watching a movie. And I know for Evan the thought of being on national television was probably extremely uncomfortable five years ago. But he has continually pushed himself out of his comfort zone and has strived for greater purpose. Heck! Even the song he sang is about that! And now he is comfortable chatting with artists who he's grown up listening to like NBD! He can't stop talking about how wonderful all the other contestants are which shows you that he makes friends out of everyone he meets no matter where they come from. You cross his path-you crossed it with a purpose. And I just can't stop thinking about what we all could be capable of if we just stretched ourselves a little more each day. Think about the lives we could change! Just think about if your comfort zone was being just as good of friends with the homeless man as you were with Pherrell! 
And weather you are a decsiple of Jesus or not, I think we all need to ask ourselves: just what are we living for? If tomorrow doesn't come what's left of us? Are you working a job you don't love? Well would it really be too crazy to quit tomorrow and persue your dream? Are you already making a living out of your talents? Good! Now what can you do even bigger with them to help and bless other people? Will you look back at the years and years(not to mention money and stress) spent in education and sitting in a class room and be satified knowing that those same years and years could have been spent traveling the world and doing exordinary things? Is the flow actually going anywhere? 

Maybe this is just another super long, rambling post of mine but this question has been weighing me down and last night my answer arrived on NBC when my very own brother hit the stage and gave everything he had. And I just really want to give everything I have now. I don't want to waste one more day.