“Perhaps the greatest legacy we can leave with our work is not to install ambition in others… but the passing on of a sense of sheer privilege, of having found a road, a way to follow, and then having been allowed to walk in it…”
David Whyte, from Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words
As an ambitious younger man I found myself driven to achieve, accomplish or win. I would set goals and drive ever so hard to be the best in order to attain respect and even admiration. Now that I have entered Rohr’s 2nd half of living I no longer strive to achieve some form of greatness but to walk the path set before me by God, with humility and acceptance. Yes, this is my calling, my vocation.
Sometimes, as with Wells of Life, it requires influencing tough decisions and bustling with hard work in an effort to save and enhance the lives of the people in rural Uganda. But mostly my real work involves staying awake so that I might see my road only a few steps ahead of where I am currently walking.
Staying awake needs constant attention and effort. First, I begin each day with about one to one and one-half hours of meditating, inspirational reading, and journaling. I refuse to even look at email until after I have completed my daily routine. Awakening a clean soul requires a clear mind.
A Renewed Style of Life
The second effort for staying awake is the most difficult because I have yet to make it a scheduled part of my daily routine. The second effort is has to do with making conscious choices to observe with wonder, to listen with intentionality, to bask in gratitude, and to distribute kindness to all I encounter. If done rightly, staying awake is not a scheduled event, instead it becomes a lifestyle.
Ambition is such a tragic word, for ambition takes control over me as I attempt to take control over others or situations. Vocation only requires obedience to the inner call of my soul as God and his Muses influence it.
Straight Lines Marked by Meanderings
Vocation wanders, albeit in a straight line marked by meanderings. I find that must allow tangents and, even sometimes, distractions because they may be an aspect of my calling that supersedes logic or reason as I perceive it at the time. And then, after a while I always find my way back to my road.
It’s just that following my road always takes a crooked path to the divine destination.
Pay Attention to YOUR Road
To Discover a New and Lasting Joy
Photo courtesy of corradobarattaphotos at istockphoto