But there is a third way. Jean Vanier, founder of the L'Arche community, calls this "the second call." If our first spiritual calling is heroic, ambitious and big the second call is toward servanthood, smallness and insignificance. Spiritual maturity comes when we respond to the second call in life, the way of the cross. Vanier in his book Community and Growth:
The first call is frequently to follow Jesus or to prepare ourselves to do wonderful and noble things for the Kingdom. We are appreciated and admired by family, by friends or by the community. The second call comes later, when we accept that we cannot do big or heroic things for Jesus; it is a time of renunciation, humiliation and humility. We feel useless; we are no longer appreciated. If the first passage is made at high noon, under a shining sun, the second call is often made at night. We feel alone and are afraid because we are in a world of confusion. We begin to doubt the commitment we made in the light of day. We seem deeply broken in some way. But this suffering is not useless. Through the renunciation we can reach a new wisdom of love. It is only through the pain of the cross that we discover what the resurrection means.Maybe it's me getting older, but I'm feeling the second call getting stronger and stronger in my life.