No, it should only put a little more stress in you. It will take a little more effort to get it into gear and move it around, but its nothing severe.
The linkage to your tranny is like a cable, so its pretty flexible.
As far as rethreading it, you need to find a 12 x 1.25mm die. then get a die handle, and then just a little bit of oil, and you're good to go on rethreading your shifter. All of that stuff should be able to be found at o'reillys. Those guys would probably walk you through how to do it.
Just remember that youre going to have to remove your reverse lockout if its an 2002.5 or newer focus, and to get it as short as I did, you will also have to remove quite a bit of plastic that sits beneth the shifter. The only piece I saved was the piece that the shifter boot wraps around. (which I cut down)
Since I work in a metallurgical testing lab, Abrasive saws and taps and dies were already availiable to me. But I imagine a little determination and a hack saw should get it cut off if you choose to go that route.
Just remember to measure twice and cut once!
-----2003 Focus ZX3-----
MAC shorty header, RadCat high flow cat, Focus Sport UDP, Focus Sport plug wires, High Flow Flex Tube, 2000 Ported Intake Manifold, Ported Stock TB.