Your One Wild and Precious Life

by Mark-David Janus, Csp, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.


The author explains that this is not a vocation workbook, answer these questions and you will discover whether you belong in Gryffindor or Hufflepuff. What follows is a series of reflections on various dimensions of vocation. Reading this book is like walking around a great prism, taking the time to examine the diverse dimensions light presents with each facet. Take your time as you circle the prism: don’t read it all straight through. If a word or idea mirrors your life experience, circle it, scribble your thoughts about it in the margins, Take a walk and turn it over in your mind. Spend some moments in prayer with tour own feelings. Ask yourself some questions you do not know the answer to. The chapters are short on purpose; only one chapter doesn’t sing to you, move on to another, don’t let yourself get stuck. Whether you are in the early days, are midway through your life, or are starting to see the end of the tunnel, each chapter is offered to provide some light as you reflect on your life, find your calling, and so enjoy your one wild, precious life


What are you doing with your one wild and precious life? The answer to this question is the mystery of vocation, what we feel we are called to do with our life, or better yet, being the person we are called to be. How we answer that question is probably the most interesting thing about us. It is how we find happiness and fulfillment. It is also how we find God.


Questions about our greater purpose happen at various points in our lives. Vocation is the process of discovery in which we learn more about ourselves, the world around us and how we want to live in it. Eventually we pursue one path as opposed to another, but this is not the end of our story. We might become lost, or worse, bored, unsure if who we are and where we are going. When lost, it is a good idea to retrace our steps, to look afresh at ourselves, our decisions, and what excites us. This book is a series of reflections on various dimensions of vocation. Reading it is like walking around a great prism, taking time to examine the many dimensions light presents with each facet. Whether you are in the early days, at midpoint, or starting to see the end of the tunnel, each chapter provides some light as you reflect on your journey, listen for your calling, and so discover what is wild and precious in your life. This is a book you want to read several times.

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