From time to time, someone will ask me to tell the story of my call to ministry. Some people are under the assumption that a pastor’s call to ministry is dramatic and eventful, akin to Paul being made blind on the road the Damascus, or Peter jumping from a fishing boat leaving everything behind.
My call story is a bit more like Nathanael’s than the other two. I sometimes joke of being born into the Lutheran Pastors Breeding Program; I am not the first from my family. There was nothing special or dramatic for me, just a kid raised in the church who had people encourage me from an early age to consider becoming a pastor.
Nathanael’s call isn’t much different. He is just a guy sitting under a tree who Jesus sees and calls. Rabbis often taught their students while sitting under a fig tree, so it is conceivable that Nathanael was under the fig tree looking for a rabbi to follow. How boring!
Yet, Jesus calls him regardless. Because it is not how we are called, but simply the fact that we are called. God calls and our lives are changed, forever.
You call us, O God, from both dramatic and boring places. Amen. — EP