I detest the word RADICAL. It makes me squirm. Walls go up instantly and its implications are incredibly uncomfortable. I avoid it at all costs. Radical suggest an immediate shift; an abrupt change. And I just don’t move that fast. At least not if I don’t have to.
I’m not talking about the moving you do when you are hiking or playing. I’m referring to the ‘decision-making, transition happening’ kind of moving.
You see, I’m definitely the more thoughtful type – carefully planning, strategically plotting, methodically moving. I can pull the trigger, but I’m not crazy about failing, so I make sure everything is in place before the gun goes off, setting myself up for maximum potential success.
Can anyone relate?
I begrudgingly listened to David Platt’s book Radical on CD. I also read Crazy Love by Francis Chan, not initially realizing it had a whole lot of ‘radical’ going on. While I enjoyed both, I felt like my heels were dug in from the start on both journeys. “Nope, not me. I’m not down for radical. It’s haphazard, impetuous and altogether irresponsible. Ridiculous.” Defenses were on red alert.
But the underlying truth was I was being tugged out of my comfort zone…and my heart knew I needed it. Ugh.
Recently, someone I admire a great deal told me that I had to get ‘radical’. “Yeah right,” I told him, “that’s not happening anytime soon.” But he said I NEEDED TO! He had the nerve to suggest that radical was a good thing, necessary for change and progress. Essential in today’s world. Huh?
Because this man, Dwight, is a mentor whom I respect dearly, I gave him the benefit. While still feeling skeptical and defensive, I listened.
What I walked away with was a new understanding for the meaning of the word. The radical he spoke of was a Christ centered shift from:
- What is ineffective to what is effective
- What is negative to what is positive
- What is miserable to what is joyful
- What is wasteful to what is efficient
- What is status quo to what is forward thinking and moving
- What is lazy to what is productive
- What is disobedient to what is obedient
Okay, so he made some sense.
But, in my defense, radical involves a COMMITMENT to change…..and THAT is intimidating.
It also suggests an IMMEDIATE transformation; an urgency for swift and decisive action. Very SCARY!
Maybe it’s the combination of both which unnerves me most?
While this is all true, I realized there is a problem with my problem!
A commitment to significant, rapid change WHEN it is Christ centered is a GOOD THING and this SHOULD NOT be a problem for me.
Then neither should the word RADICAL.
What a huge revelation. I never looked at being radical as something I was called to be; its connotation had always been infused with anxiety. I felt forced and obligated. But not anymore; my perspective has truly been changed. I thank God for using Dwight to speak truth into my life – truth I needed and will use in our journey ahead.
You see, we’ve been considering a complete lifestyle change, one that will ultimately allow us more time for writing, speaking and coaching. This transition will move me away from my family, which I’ve never been. It will involve a period of time in which we are not homeowners, which is daunting. And it will necessitate short periods of time where Lindon and I will be separated, which I’m NOT crazy about. It all sounds a little radical to me.
But for the first time, I can wrap my head around radical. Walking out God’s will for our lives is truly the inspiration for of all our plans. We don’t want to waste time bathing in stagnancy, yet desire to actively increase our sphere of influence so we can help and serve. Leaving a legacy for our children and grandchildren is of the utmost importance. And creating a retreat for respite and restoration in the midst of our busy lives is essential. Our desires are absolutely Christ centered.
Wow, radical is sounding better and better all the time.
Sure, I might experience some uncertainty and apprehension along the way, but it will no longer be out of fear or rebellion.
Has God called you to do something radical that is frightening or overwhelming? Perhaps it’s time to face the commitment and change head on? We encourage you to share your story below. Tell us about it…and let us know if we can help! We offer Christian Life Coaching and would love to talk with you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“You will never maximize your potential in any area without COACHING. It is impossible. You may be good. You may even be better than everyone else. But without outside input you will never be as good as you could be.” – Andy Stanley
Blessings to you!