As I was digging into John Schuster’s Answering Your Call again a few weeks ago to discuss his material on Saboteurs, I found another great point he makes to conclude his book. He writes that there are two major errors we can make in responding to a call.
Inflation and Self-Promotion
Instead of honoring the calling we turn it into ambition. We end up placing our individual call above all else, making it more important than anything and anyone else. People take second place to our need to answer our lofty calling. We see this error made all the time. Someone has a vision, usually a good one, but they pursue it to a fault. As they gain power, they start to believe they’re above the rules. Priorities get so twisted by the ego that the original vision is corrupted and lost. Sometimes we watch these people crash and burn very publicly.
Deflation and Self-Protection
In this case, instead of honoring the calling, we run from it! We give in to fear or believe we are unworthy or unable to carry it out. We see this error made all the time too. People who chicken out, tell themselves they can’t and choose to stay exactly where they are. They “choose the ordinary life over extraordinary purpose.” Being practical or realistic is an excuse for protecting themselves from possible damage. In the process, they die inside. We’re not likely to watch these people crash and burn publicly, but we’ll probably meet hundreds of them in our lifetimes. They’re the people who, “lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them” (Thoreau).
Which error is the one you’re most likely to make?