Thursday, February 26, 2009

Review: The Echo Within by Robert Benson

About the Book: Written out of his own lifelong search for and response to the calling voice of God, Robert Benson recounts his discovery of the meaning of vocation, work, and purpose through the ups and downs inherent in family life, professional choice, and spiritual experience. With clarity and insight, and in the elegant prose for which he is known, he gently invites and encourages readers to find such deep truths for their lives as well. In particular, he illuminates the way for readers to explore:

· ways to sense the Holy in our pursuits, both in the pursuits themselves and within ourselves.

· how to fall into our vocation and chart a course toward it at the same time.

· how to love the work we do, and the process of doing it.

For anyone beginning a new career or sensing a needed change in their life or wrestling with a transition suddenly thrust upon them, Robert Benson delivers wisdom, humor, and heart in what he’s learned about listening for The Echo Within—and how it can help us discover our calling.

My Review: I am in desperate need of a change in career ever since a career change was forced on me! So when this book came up for review, I thought it might give me some guidance.

I am such a lover of fiction and story, that sometimes I forget how much I love to read spiritual reflections and memoirs. This book hit me right where I am. Bringing instant tears to my eyes on occasion and resonating with me.

One of my favorite Andrew Peterson songs has a line in it, "A thing resounds when it rings true. Ringing all the bells inside of you." I have always loved that line and this book is pretty much a whole book about that...about learning to trust the unique voice that God has given you and the unique way He has created you to find your way. I particularly love that Benson is a writer so his own story is full of words and the love of creating.

This book is honest and touching and artistic. I point that last part out because I've seen some reviewers slam it for being unbiblical but rather, I think it takes truth and presents it in a fresh way as opposed to relying on the same tired words. I found tremendous encouragement in these pages. This book was a gift. It rang all the bells inside of me.

Here's a passage from the chapter Waking:

I come from a long line of folks who had ink in their blood. Or if not in their blood, then the ink was at least on their hands--writers and editors and publishers and printing salesmen.
Not surprisingly, I fell in love with the paper and ink, the tools it took to lay out the pages the rhythm of the presses, the book boxes, and the shipping-room dust. The physicality of the book itself and of the making of it was powerful and precious to me. I loved books long before I started writing them.

The book is full of that kind of beautiful writing, as it affirms that you are indeed spoken into being, given life experiences to create and shape you into only the person you can be.

Rating: 5/5
Buy the book here.



Robert Benson said...

Thank you taking the time to read THE ECHO WITHIN in the first place, for your kind words about the work itself, and for taking the time to tell your friends about it.

Namaste —

R. Benson

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