I can remember the words people said that meant so much to me and my own sense of who I was and who I might become…. You know you have heard such a sentence when you hear inside a corresponding Yes. The Yes is an echo of sorts, or at least it is the same voice as is the Echo that you have come to count on. Such a sentence takes your breath away…. It tells you something about yourself that you suspected or hoped, something you glimpsed but were too shy or uncertain to name aloud.

Robert Benson, The Echo Within


A day or so ago the Ministry Essentials staff met together to talk about budgets; specifically, the budget they will build for 2023. However, before we could talk about money and all its concerns, we had to back up and think about vision. God’s vision for us, the vision we hold of ourselves, and the vision within us for our communities and the world. But knowing vision, having it renewed, reoriented, and refreshed year by year takes some time. Time to remember, dream, pray, listen, talk…and time to search out what the needs are that God is inviting us to meet or not meet.

All this points to that echo we hear within. The one that we recognize as Jesus’ voice. The movement we come to know as Spirit movement. The vision that we learn originates from the Father.

But sometimes it’s hard to hear, hard to see, hard to know.

Richard Benson has a way of writing that helps us know. His willingness to let us in on his own human struggle and the way he puts his words together is kind of like sitting with a friend in a really good conversation. This book is really a conversation between friends.

When one day a friend wondered if he was being called to a certain field of work, he asked Robert Benson, “Do you think I am?”


The Echo Within is Robert’s illuminating answer, a thoughtful, honest, profoundly-affecting account of his own search and failings and eventual discovery of the “Yes,” he describes–what it is one truly is called to do and be. Written out of a lifelong search and response to the callings on his life, The Echo Within explores:


  • how to love the work you do, and the process of doing it.
  • ways to sense God’s pleasure in your pursuits, both in the pursuits and in you.
  • whether you fall into your vocation as a destiny or you chart that course.
  • how to begin living with added dimensions of meaning and purpose.

Through the ups and downs of the changes inherent in family life, professional choice, and spiritual experience, Robert shares with wisdom, humor, and heart what he’s learned–and how you can discover your calling too.

–Write up on Amazon


Despite the busyness of fall start-up and getting back to the September/May routine, I hope you will pause and give time to the renewing of God’s vision in you, for you. I hope you will listen closely, dearly until you catch the echo of His voice. I hope your heart will quiet, knowing that he has spoken and is speaking his life, his sight, and his guidance in you, over you, around you, in front of you. And I hope you will look forward with excitement and hope as you keep in step with the Spirit and walk into fall.

We’re with you in the journey.

Good Read #5: The Echo Within: Finding Your True Calling  by Robert Benson



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