the fatal question

Some people seem to make it through life without ever having to wrestle with the fatal question. They seem to move through life with ease—making a living, enjoying the fruit of their labor, taking what seems to be an easy or at least a rather clearly marked path to security and success—while others seem to be called to make commitments that require us to do strange things and orient our lives toward realities that others do not even see. It is hard to be that kind of person—to have a fire burning within us that we can’t “shut up in our bones” without doing damage to the soul. It’s hard to keep answering a calling that continually takes us out to the edge of our faith and our human limitations. Sometimes we are tempted to feel resentful.

But a true leader is one who has heard the fatal question. This is a person who has seen a vision of what could be and who continues to take steps in that direction against all odds. We might argue with God a bit. We might put forth every excuse that comes to mind. But God always wins this argument, because every time we go deep inside to listen, we know that what God is calling us to do is ours to do and that the path before us is ours to walk. We know it is the meaning of our life. And so we say yes. For better and for worse, we say yes to meaning. We say yes to God. 
                                                                                 Ruth Haley Barton in Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership

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