As I approached the date for my retirement from pastoral ministry, the question of vocation kept coming up. People wanted to know how my journey had begun. I confess that I've had a lifelong aversion to declaring that God had called me to be a minister. People assume that there must have been a voice in the middle of the night or a startling vision—something like what happened to Martin Luther, who was caught in a ferocious storm and promised God that if he survived he would enter a monastery.
I ended up attending divinity school because I wanted to pursue questions I had about God and the meaning of life. I had no intention of seeking ordination.