Jan 052017

People often ask about how pastors become pastors.  The answer is that we receive a call from God. The next question, of course, is “How does that work?” I’ve been asked that more times than I can count, but I have never felt like I’ve given a satisfactory answer. I’ve told my call story, and that seems to satisfy people at the time, but I’ve never been able to convey to anyone what it was actually like.

Fortunately, Disney has done it for me.

I’m not usually a fan of Disney movies, but Moana is an exception, and that’s because it is exceptional. It’s a very good movie, and without a doubt my favorite Disney movie (the new Star Wars movies do not count). Part of why I love Moana is that it is very much about call. Moana has a call, and her call reminds me very much of my own. Watch this clip, because it explains call better than anything I could ever say or write.

Take a look at these lyrics:

I’ve been standing at the edge of the water
‘Long as I can remember, never really knowing why
I wish I could be the perfect daughter
But I come back to the water, no matter how hard I try

Every turn I take, every trail I track
Every path I make, every road leads back
To the place I know, where I can not go
Though I long to be

See the line where the sky meets the sea it calls me
And no one knows, how far it goes
If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me
One day I’ll know, if I go there’s just no telling how far I’ll go

That’s exactly what it’s like to receive a call from God. You just keep hearing it, over and over, and it’s a voice you can’t ignore. You just can’t. That’s what the ocean does to Moana, and that was what God did to me. I just kept hearing God calling, over and over, and I just had to go be a pastor. I just had to. That’s how call works.

Now if you haven’t already, go see Moana. You’ll be glad you did.