Like "duty," "law," "religion," the word "vocation" has a dull ring to it, but in terms of what it means, it is really not dull at all. "Vocare," to call, of course, and a man's vocation is a man's calling. It is the work that he is called to in this world, the thing he is summoned to spend his life doing. We can speak of a man's choosing his vocation, but perhaps it is at least as accurate to speak of a vocation's choosing the man, of a call's being given and a man's hearing it, or not hearing it.
And maybe that is the place to start: the business of listening and hearing. A man's life is full of all sorts of voices calling him in all sorts of directions. Some of them are voices from inside and some of them are voices from outside. The more alive and alert we are, the more clamorous our lives are. Which do we listen to? What kind of voice do we listen for? - Frederick Buechner
One night long ago a sixteen year old boy sat alone on the back step of our home, gazing up into a clear, sparkling, night sky. In a strange, whispering, wonderful moment Someone called to me, my calling came to me as I listened, struck silent by the enormity of God and my own littleness. I heard it, and something stirred in me that had never moved before, something deep, something real, something alive, something struggling to speak, to take flight in me. I had no words, no answer.
My life from that moment has been my own harrowing and halting effort to answer that Voice, to fulfill my vocare, my calling.