I had just finished my sophomore year of high school and I was sitting on the beach at an event held by Southeast called Bible and Beach. My best friend, Vanessa, and I were hanging out together and talking about the people playing volleyball and frisbee and the people in the ocean (which was an incredibly idiotic decision because of the numerous jellyfish, might I add). We couldn't decide what to do. As we were discussing this a volleyball flew out of a court and in between us. I tried to be nice by retrieving the stray ball and ended up stumbling into a conversation being had by a guy who I recognized as going to my school and Ryan Post (the worship leader for high school at Southeast). I picked up the volleyball, threw it back to the people who were playing, and decided that I would figure out what this guy's name was because I was certain I should know it. I waited until they broke off the conversation to then walk straight up to him and say, "Hey! I'm Mackenzie! You go to Whitefield right?" To which he so enthusiastically *catch the sarcasm* said, "Yes?...Well I just graduated." I felt myself only for a moment be embarrassed before I continued on trying to have a normal conversation with him. He seemed like he didn't really want to talk, but none-the-less, we chatted for a few minutes. It was long enough for me to get that his name was Ryan Lawrence. I decided I would look him up on Facebook when I got home, but surprisingly enough, when I got home from the trip, I had a friend request. We started chatting occasionally on Facebook, seeing each other at church on Sunday mornings, and eventually, we exchanged numbers.
It's crazy to think that was two years ago. I can't say we were immediately best friends, but I can say that we have slowly but surely gotten very close. I consider him one of my best friends. We always laugh about how weird our meeting was. He was a graduated senior who had no interest in meeting anyone new (He's a loner :P And I'm only saying that cause I know he is going to read this) and I was a sophomore thinking that I would really like to know who this guy is. He always tells me that the moment I bounced up to him and started talking to him, he knew I was a freak. Well he's right, but apparently I'm cool enough to be friends with.
I tell this whole story just to say that sometimes going out of your comfort zone a little bit makes all the difference. God puts things and people in your life for a reason, but if you are too scared to ever reach out your hand and grab at the opportunity, you're going to miss all of them. I think about what could have happened with my life if I hadn't decided to be a goofy little sophomore, if Ryan hadn't been on the beach that day, if the volleyball hadn't flown past me. And I realize that stepping out of your comfort zone can not only benefit someone else, but you can gain a lot from it. Whether it's meeting new people, sharing Jesus with people, or just going against what the world says, going out of our comfort zones helps us grow. It changes things for us. So next time you're on a beach and a volleyball flies past you, know that you are about to meet one of your best friends...just kidding. Next time an opportunity is in front of you, but you're scared of looking a little foolish, just remember that nothing exciting or new ever happens if you always do the comfortable thing.
|Laying Down Myself|