Coming up with a title for a Lenten Series (journey, reflection, lifeplan, regimen, etc.) on radical dependence was a challenge. How can you categorize, outline, plan, color-code, or some other synonym for “make yourself do something through 7-quick tips" the idea of radical dependence? We can’t. As we reflect on this concept, this intangible, this seemingly impossible, yet totally essential way of life, we have to first let go of the fact that there is a path, a plan, a multi-step process (12 or otherwise) to radical dependence on God.
Radical dependence on God begins and ends with the acceptance that “Apart from Me, you can do nothing (John 15:5).” This verse is possibly in the bottom five least favorite verses of the highly capable, the perfectionists, or those that enjoy a modicum of control. Radical dependence on God is encapsulated by the trust of a little child throwing herself into the arms of the Father without reservation--a skill many of us forgot after the age of toddlerdom. Which means if you’re old enough to be reading this, and you’re not just here for the pictures, you have probably forgotten the ease and trust of childhood. You probably are thinking--I just want to fix this! (Whatever the this may be.)
You’re looking for answers. Self-help, self-care, an end to self-destructive behavior… you won’t find them here. Step one to radical dependence (if there were a step) is knowing that YOU and I don’t have the answers… the Father does (or is, or other things like that that we will unpack).
What you will find this Lent are prayer aids and activities, journaling prompts, and reflections that help to demystify the idea of radical dependence. The answers, the peace, the trust, the soul-stretching work has to be done on your own. In silence. With the Father.
May the great cloud of witnesses who show us that a life of radical dependence is possible intercede for us this Lent!
Beginning of Lent Mini-Week Reflection
Defining Our Terms
Webster’s Dictionary defines Radical (the adjective) as the following:
NOTE: Edited for formatting only.
Definitions of RADICAL
1: of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: such as of or growing from the root of a plant 9(e.g. radical tubers); growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground, (e.g. radical leaves); of, relating to, or constituting a linguistic root; of or relating to a mathematical root; designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased and potentially diseased tissue (e.g. radical surgery; radical mastectomy)
2: of or relating to the origin : FUNDAMENTAL
3: very different from the usual or traditional : EXTREME; favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions; associated with political views, practices, and policies of extreme change; advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs (e.g. the radical left)
4 slang : EXCELLENT, COOL
Which definitions of “radical” most speak to my heart?
Which definitions of “radical” scare me?
Which definitions of “radical” is the Lord calling me to this Lent?
Why is the word “radical” so weird after I keep saying it? Radical. Radical. Radical.
Father, this Lent I want...
(Go ahead, ask Him.)
End your reflection time with 10 minutes of silence.