In vain our labours are, whatsoe’re they be,
Unless God gives the Benedicite.
– Robert Herrick
The spiritual life is a call to action. But it is a call to selfless action, that is, action without any selfish attachment to the results. It is not action or effort that we must surrender; it is self-will, and this is terribly difficult. You must do your best constantly, yet never allow yourself to become involved in whether things work out the way you want.
It takes many years of practice to learn this skill, but once you have it, you will never lose your nerve. The sense of inadequacy goes. You are able to assess your capacities with detachment. You choose a worthwhile goal, then you can throw yourself into selfless action without conflict or diffidence or fatigue. When we learn simply to do our best and leave the question of success or failure to the Lord, the results can really be spectacular.