Beautiful Risks: A Conversation with Rick Maguire, Part One

This week on The Allender Center Podcast, Dr. Dan Allender launches a two-part conversation with his friend, Rick Maguire, who recently left a successful career at Microsoft to pursue work helping others as a life coach. It was a drastic step, one that might be considered foolish to some, but as Dan has often said, we are faced throughout life with a choice between cowardice or acting on risks that might appear foolish.

Rick shares about what led to the career change, including a retreat to a monastery and a period of reflecting on where he was going with his life and his work. Dan observes that Rick does not easily grow restless or dissatisfied with life, so it is clear that something deeper was pulling him in this direction. “When you have that sense that you have outgrown what you’re doing and who you are,” says Dan, “in some ways like a potted plant that’s grown way beyond what’s holding it. In one sense, it’s going to set it up for its own destruction if it’s not put it into a larger domain.”

rick-maguireRick: “It’s not that the work I was leaving wasn’t good work and rich work, it just wasn’t my work to do at this point.”

Dan: “I think it’s so important, whether you’re in your 20s or in your 50s, that you’re beginning to think about what’s next. It’s good to do good work, and to be faithful in the work that you’re doing, and to know that we all need an income. But there’s still that sense of: oh my goodness, there’s so much more to what it is that we’re meant to be doing. And you allowed yourself to ask that question. That’s a risky thing.”

As this conversation unfolds, it becomes clear that Rick and his family are not strangers to risk. He and Dan talk about the life-changing decision that Rick and his wife made several years ago to adopt three young children from southeastern Ukraine. They had taken a step back and looked at their lives and their home, wondering together, “What is our marriage about, beyond just the two of us? What really came to the fore was the idea of hospitality and openness. What we really seem to be about and called to is providing a space for people, loving them and teaching them and raising them.”

Dan says many people take risks for opportunity and advance, but Rick and Trish take risks for different reasons. “Something of the kingdom of God, the rule of hospitality, and that privilege of being able to open space not only for others but for your own heart—that seems to have been very significant driving factors for a lot of the decisions you have made.”

Next week, Dan and Rick will continue this conversation by talking more about Rick’s role as a life coach, as well as what it might look like for other people to take big, bold, beautiful risks.