Book Review: The Echo Within: Finding Your True Calling by Robert Benson

Posted on April 23, 2009. Filed under: Authenticity in Writing, bridge building, Robert Benson, spirituality, The Echo Within, true calling, vocation, writing |

In the writing classes I teach, one of the things I repeat over and over is, “Your goal as a writer is to build a bridge from you to your reader.” Robert Benson’s new book, The Echo Within: Finding Your True Calling (Waterbrook/Random House, 2009), is a simple yet graceful bridge, one constructed from his own honesty and experience. His advice to follow the One Who spoke you and me and everything into being is certainly not a new idea. Yet Benson’s next statement is provocative and refreshing: if you think God’s voice sounds suspiciously like your own, don’t necessarily reject or mistrust that voice. Listen closely and you’ll find that voice is part of that Voice, the One who Spoke creation itself. That Voice can help you find your vocation.

I read The Echo Within in one sitting, although this gem of a book could be digested in smaller bites. Chapters are short, yet the seeker’s narrative pulls the reader through phases of Benson’s life and work. These phases could be my life and work or yours, which lends depth and humility to the book’s tone. And that’s his point, I think. By following the sound of his Master’s voice, Benson walks the same path we all travel.
He offers a simple but not necessarily easy way to find one’s true calling. Anyone who searches for purpose, who wrestles with vocations, both real and dreamed of, mundane or artistic, will find himself or herself greeting Benson on the far side of this elegant bridge he has built from his life to ours.


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2 Responses to “Book Review: The Echo Within: Finding Your True Calling by Robert Benson”

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Very nice book review Linda. It made me want to read it.
Class was fun tonight. I loved the exercise, writing the story from different POVs. Part of the fun of it was seeing who the leaders in the class are. In my group, there were two strong personalities wanting to tell the story. The speaker made up most of what she said on her own, after the group discussion. I got a kick out of it.
It was a very helpful exercise in really thinking about a story from all angles. I love the choice of who’s story to tell.

Thanks, Diane. I hope you get a lot of writing done this week. –Linda

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