The reflection on vocation in this issue by Gilbert Meilaender takes us from Vergil’s epic, the Aeneid, to the Reformation era to the 20th century, with many stops in between. He prodded me, as I’m sure he will others, to think more deeply about their own sense of vocation.
Happy is the one to whom God speaks in a clear, unmistakable voice with specific instructions about what to do with his or her life. Some folk I know experienced a call to their vocation like that. Most did not. My experience of a call to ministry came in stages, at different times and places, none of them startlingly clear—a door opening unexpectedly here, another door closing disappointingly there. At first it was an intellectual itch I couldn’t scratch. A college adviser urged me to take a year to examine my intellectual and spiritual questions seriously. At the end of the year, I knew that I wanted to pursue the questions as far as I could.