Posted by: JennyRain | October 14, 2009

Ordinary People doing Extraordinary Things

I love the story of Susan Boyle

Susan’s story is unexpected, unique, and it puts to shame stereotypes, prejudices, and expectations we have of where people should be and how they should look at age forty-seven if they are going to make an impact in the world.

In the spring, Susan wowed the judges at Britain’s Got talent when she stepped out onto the stage and sang I Dreamed a Dream from Les Mis that  blew the competition out of the water. It was a glorious moment because it was so unexpected. It was wonderful because it invited me into this story that was unfolding for her because it forced me to hold up a mirror and ask, “What stereotypes do I have of others? Are those stereotypes hindering me from seeing their full potential?”

I love what Mark Blankenship said about Susan in his blog:

“Watching an older person—especially an older person who doesn’t seem very hip—prove she still has time to emerge from her cocoon is exciting because it reminds us that we can still sort through our own problems.No matter how old we are, we’re dealing with something, and it’s refreshing to be told that that’s okay.”

I am inspired by Susan Boyle’s story. I am inspired by Susan.

Another story that inspires me is Zac Brown‘s

Zac Brown also known as the Zac Brown Band (ZBB) are a band from middle-Georgia (and when I say middle, I mean “middle of nowhere, GA”) . I had the pleasure of seeing them perform a time or two while I lived in nowhere, GA – oops, I mean Greensboro, GA. Again, just to clarify, when I say “perform,” I am wondering if you can call it a “performance” when you are seated in the middle of a double-wide trailer-converted-into-a-restaurant – does this count?

And yet, it was from this “double-wide-trailer-restaurant” called Zac’s Place that opened in 2004 on Lake Oconee, GA that people responded to in droves. Zac states:

“Basically, I wanted a cool, relaxed place where I could play music in front of a crowd whenever I wanted when I was home and not on tour. We record every show and give out cd’s to all in attendance.”

On an average Friday or Saturday night in middle-GA back in 2005, Zac’s place would be crammed with every twenty to forty something individuals from Eatonton to Atlanta, GA! It was shocking, really, to see how many people they could fit into this souped-up double-wide.

Zac Brown playing at Zac's Place in Lake Oconee, GA

Something else I like about Zac? He does not forget to give back:

Zac Brown began work as a philanthropist and humanitarian, planning income from his current album to enable the funding of the non-profit Homegrown Camp, designed as an “all inclusive children’s camp that will teach diversity, freedom, teamwork, America, nutritional awareness, liberty and life skills as well as music and art”.

Why do they inspire me?

Because they are ordinary. Ordinary people like you and me who are doing what they love. They did not give up or let life get in their way because they happened to be over forty, or living in nowhere, GA. They kept ahold of their dreams and did not let go until they reached those dreams.

I believe it is the ordinary people in life that often become the most extra-ordinary in our hearts. I did not know Susan Boyle, but I had the pleasure of meeting Zac Brown a time or two and can tell you – he is extra-ordinarily humble and kind. He was just an ordinary person who loved his family and loved him some music. I have a feeling if I had the chance to meet Susan Boyle, I would find the same type of humility and grace.

If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. 2 Cor 4.7 (MSG)






  1. Hey Jenny – tx for your prayers lately:) keep praying for health!!!! When you wrote the other day about remembering to greet your husband warmly, i laughed – because like you, the lab often is the most enthusiastic when the hubby comes home.
    anyhoo= loved this post . I can still watch susan boyle and cry – and we are new fans of zac brown so it was to learn this stuff! melanie

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