Monday, November 23, 2009

Creative Extremists

"The question is not whether we will be extremists but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice-or will we be extremists for the cause of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill, three men were crucified for the same crime - the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. So, after all, maybe the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists"
Martin Luther King

I love this quote. In fact I love just about everything I have ever read that Dr. King ever said. Most of His words are applicable to civil rights, disability rights, the church and to the way we live in America in general. But maybe I like these words because I am an extremist, in some ways I have always been. My parents would get mad at me as a kid as it was one way or another for me. My mom would read a poem to me about Oh Tony, part of it went like this: "when he was good he was very, very good, but when he was bad... he was horrible" . I remember in high school being at party with a bunch of my friends and it getting out of hand and I may have been one of the instigators. One of my friends got really mad as we all where hiding down the block in some neighbors bushes as the cops broke the party up. He said Tony... your problem is you always push everything right to the edge and your not happy until you push one last time and everything goes right over the cliff!
So there it is, I am an extremist, my gift is my curse, as is it is in most people. Some people are accusing and say you are a perfectionist, or you are never satisfied, or you don't know when to quit, but I have never felt like those accusations fit me just right. I just find it easy to push things along and I want the best, especially when it comes to serving Jesus. The part that Dr. King says that is important is; is to be an creative extremist. There are millions of extremist type people out there but pushing the extreme just like someone else; is really just being a follower and has average outcomes. If you can take extremism and add creativity to it I think there is great outcomes to be had. Look back on history, many creative extremist helped change the world; Dr. King, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther, Walt Disney, Abe Lincoln. These people all took what they believed in to far, where never satisfied, and did not know when to quit. But the world is not the same because of them. I hope someday to go stumbling into heaven, tired and exhausted, having been working hard for the kingdom. I do not want to shed tears of regret as I walk through the gates over things unfinished or untried, or over people I never told about Jesus, but rather walk in with tears of joy that my Jesus will wipe away.
I challenge all who read this to commit to being creative extremists for Jesus. We are to be like Him, so we must be extremists. I am sure that Dr. Kings family often said, Martin, you shouldn't have said that, or done that or sat there or prayed for them. But I believe millions upon millions are thankful for his extreme vision,views and commitment to the cause of equality for all people. Lets be committed, like Jesus himself the ultimate creative extremist.

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