Frederick Buechner, the author and Presbyterian minister, said: "The vocation [calling] for you is the one in which your deep gladness and the world's deep need meet -- something that not only makes you happy but that the world needs to have done." It is something he has written and said many times over the years, but this version is from an interview with Bob Abernathy on Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, May 5, 2006. It has been the mantra for the second part of my life. I used to be an applied mathematician doing computational physics; today I am a teacher of elementary school gifted children. Instead of writing code, my days are filled with encouraging children to ask 'Why?' and look for the answers. Whatever questions I may have about faith and church and the state of public education, I feel God's call each day in my students. And I see it each day in my children. Part of the reason I am so eager to watch this documentary tonight is that my oldest daughter and her husband are third year Lutheran seminarians. This is the life they have chosen, though they would probably dispute whether there was any choice involved! Answering this call to ministry has been what guides them for almost 9 years now -- through adolescence, college, love and marriage, doubt, frustration with merely human institutions, and passion for the work. These are amazing human beings and I look forward to getting to know others through this documentary and this conversation.
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