We Are Radical.

radical“You are radical,” one of my friends told me.

Those words stung something deep in my soul. It wasn’t until I walked away that I could clarify the feeling. Those words- they made me feel alone.

My friend told me that because I had an idea. The idea was simple. I was going to reverse the deprecating stigma that engulfed our school by holding a campus-wide worship event right in the heart of our campus. That wasn’t radical. It was insane.

The setting was James Madison University, a school that was recently ranked by Playboy to be the 22nd best party school in the nation. That stigma was only exacerbated by a riot that struck our school and hit national news. We were famous for our parties.

I couldn’t tell if it was the thick scent of tear gas flooding the air or the constant blaring of sirens that night of the riot that induced the crazy thoughts upon me, but either way, I wanted to change our stigma. I just didn’t know how to do this yet.

That is, until next year rolled around. My friends and I had been meeting to pray in our local interfaith chapel every Saturday morning. We all felt compelled that change was on the horizon; that our campus was on the cusp of something new. We just needed to reach out and take a hold of it.

My friend came up with the idea. It wasn’t my own. But once it was mentioned, I ran with it. Weeks passed by and all we did was pray over this event. Somewhere along the line, people began acknowledging me as the leader to this idea. I was fine with that, as long as it stayed an idea.

But then one day, my friend called me.

“Neal! We did it!” she said. “We got the venue! This is happening!”

I was terrified, yet excited at the same time. It was time to actually start treating this event as more of a reality instead of an idea.

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