I will be honest, I love Pastor Rick Warren.
He is persuasive, he is provocative, he stimulates my thinking and above all he has allowed me to see and embrace the idea that I am radical.
Profoundly and beautifully radical.
Now, you are probably thinking “ ‘Radical’ why in the world would I want to be considered radical, doesn’t that mean being fringy, leftist, rightist, extremist?”
The short and truthful answer is no.
For the English word “radical”, you see, actually comes from the Latin word “radicalis” which means “to be rooted in” “to have deep roots.”
Rooted in? Deep roots? Sounds like something worthy of being to me.
What scares people more than someone who is intelligent, beautiful, powerful or wealthy, is someone deeply rooted in the nourishing virtues of gratitude, faith and love.
I will be honest again, people have made fun of me for my medical approach, for my eating habits, people have questioned my faith as a Christian because I meditate, people have called me fringy because I encourage dietary changes and supplements instead of drugs, people have laughed at me for my recommendations and my thought process.
But through it all, I remind myself of one thing:
I don’t have to be everyone’s best friend or anyone’s for that matter, I just have to be God’s.
And God only wants faithful, loving and radical friends.
Sharing all of this, I acknowledge each and every one of you has been challenged, has been misunderstood, has been judged, has been targeted for any number of reasons.
I am sorry, but we do not need pity, or to even feel sorry for ourselves, because God doesn’t feel sorry.
On the contrary, He, She, Our Divine actually finds joy in the faithful human being holding firm to virtues that heal, nourish and support flourishing.
For the biggest threat, you see, to our future flourishing, is not the presence of other’s doubts or questions of our purpose, but our own.
To combat this, we need roots, deep, impenetrable, unshakable roots.
What is my purpose? What foods do I need to nourish my body? What will I do when faced with an antagonizing person? How will I protect myself from the dark side of social media and popular culture? How will I continue to appreciate, love and support others through all things?
We need answers to these questions, we need roots, and we need to rely on faith when we face uncertainty and don’t have the answers.
Over the past few months, as I have grown as a new, young doctor, I have often felt inadequate, unknowledgeable and overwhelmed with the complexities of medicine, with the needs and limitations of hospital based care.
But through it all, I have been unwavering in my faith, deeply rooted by my calling, knowing I am a here to be a vessel to bring healing, to grow closer to God and help others grow close too.
I continue to nourish my body with whole foods. I spend time outdoors. I cherish the infrequent but irreplaceable hours with my girlfriend and our animals, I play and grow with the children at my church as part of our youth ministry. I have the challenging conversations with my patients about lifestyle change before medications. I explore and seek answers to things I don’t fully understand, remaining feverishly curious, and I never for a second forget to stop, breathe, meditate and pray.
I am grounded in my faith and my exploration of root cause resolution medicine.
To some this may appear odd, non-conformist or irrational.
To me it is just being radical.
Rooted, righteous and radical.
Isn’t it about time we all got a little radical?