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Travel with revered preacher and author Fred Craddock through his early years as he considers what made him take to the pulpit. "For some reason, I felt I had to say 'Yes' or 'No' to the ministry so I could feel free again. My siblings and friends talked almost casually about options and preferences as to careers, but with no evident sense of urgency. Not so with me. I did not then nor do I now know whether the burden of choice was a trait of personality, a kind of super-conscientiousness, whether the calling to ministry itself carried a weight, a burden, peculiar to the task itself. Rightly or wrongly, when I thought of possibly becoming a journalist, that would be a choice, 100 percent mine. When I considered becoming a minister, that was not totally my decision; I was responding to God's will for me. Of course, I had been told that journalists, lawyers, teachers, merchants, farmers-all could understand their lives as a vocation, a calling, but what I am telling you is that I perceived, I felt, I experienced the idea of being a preacher as different, and that difference was sobering, even burdensome. That's why advice about not being in a hurry, taking my time, was not helpful even if wise. If it was my decision, why could I not make it now; if it was God's decision, why did not God tell me, or at least tell my father or my mother? I prayed for the ache to leave me." -Excerpt from Reflections on My Call to Preach
- Chalice Press, January 2011
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