Thinking Too Much About Our Callings

Greg Levoy has some Wise Words on seeking, finding, and doing out Callings:

There is such a thing as thinking too much about a calling, which is like leaving a hot iron too long in one place while you’re trying to smooth the wrinkles out of your shirt. Not only can studying it to death—turning it inside out like an old sock rather than, to some degree, simply exposing yourself before it—make it bony with refusal, but it can also be a pretty good way of avoiding the call altogether. We can analyze every facet of it. We can probe every consequence of following it, not following it, procrastinating in following it, jumping on it right away, or trading it in for another. We can ponder whether it’s really ours or whether we’re appropriating someone else’s, whether the time is now or later, whether it’s being murmured to us by God or not-God.

We can hold off and then beat ourselves up for not taking action, or we can take action and beat ourselves up for not being more patient. We can scare the backbone out of ourselves by contemplating the enormity of the call and the modest talents we bring to bear on it. We can break ourselves against the rock of debate. We can spend so much time, in other words, dithering with definitions and exactitudes, possibilities and probabilities, that we do little more than chase our own tails and eventually collapse into bed too exhausted to do anything at all.

Gregg Levoy, Callings