I am a fan of Hitch, not least because of his attack on the wishful thinking, lazy thinking and sentimental thinking that passes for much of Christianity (I am Christian). And I like his take on life, as expressed here (the bit about living ironically is spot on). "You’re expelled from your mother’s uterus as if shot from a cannon, towards a barn door studded with old nail files and rusty hooks. It’s a matter of how you use up the intervening time in an intelligent and ironic way."
Discovering the writing of William Stringfellow some years ago was a memorable find. Here he is on "Career vs. Vocation"
“I had elected then [in my early student years] to pursue no career. To put it theologically, I died to the idea of career and to the whole typical array of mundane calculations, grandiose goals and appropriate schemes to reach them…. I do not say this haughtily; this was an aspect of my conversion to the gospel….
“[Later] my renunciation of ambition in favour of vocation became resolute; I suppose some would think, eccentric. When I began law studies, I consider that I had few, if any, romantic illusions about becoming a lawyer, and I most certainly did not indulge any fantasies that God had called me, by some specific instruction, to be an attorney or, for that matter, to be a member of any profession or any occupation. I had come to understand the meaning of vocation more simply and quite differently.
“I believed then, as I do now, that I am called in the Word of God … to the vocation of being human, any work, including that of any profession, can be rendered a sacrament of that vocation. On the other hand, no profession, discipline or employment, as such, is a vocation.” A Keeper of the Word: Selected Writings of William Stringfellow (Eerdmans, 1994), pp. 30-31
"Humans are most likely the only species that experiences disgust, and we seem to be the only one capable of loathing its own species" William Miller in The Anatomy of Disgust quoted by Richard Beck in Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality and Mortality. What a scary observation. I mused on it with Murphy the Cocker Spaniel, and agreed it seemed plausible.