For the past 16 years, Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor has been a professor of religion at Piedmont College in north Georgia. There, she is surrounded by young adults just beginning their lives, eager to find their own paths. To do that, they ask questions, explore new ideas and open themselves to experimentation, all of which Rev. Taylor says she is honored to help foster.
As she tells Oprah during her appearance on "Super Soul Sunday," the youthful energy and endless potential of college students is something Rev. Taylor wasn't surrounded by during her days as a preacher, and she is grateful to have made the switch to teaching.
"It's a huge privilege to be with mostly people in their late adolescence, early 20s," Rev. Taylor says. "They're trying out their lives, and the college classroom ends up being a lab for trying things for them. To be able to be a part of that is terrific."
Oprah agrees. "You're right, it's a laboratory for learning and life," she says. "I say what a wondrous thing to not to know where you're going and to be able to actually... have the opportunity to figure it out!"
But young people don't always see it this way. Many are so singularly focused on finding their one true path that they miss a very important element of life and what it's really like. Watch Rev. Taylor explain what we all get wrong about finding our calling.
"I think we'd like life to be a train... You get on, pick your destination and get off," Rev. Taylor says.
Life doesn't work this, she explains. It likens it to a sailboat ride.
"Every day, you have to see where the wind is and check the currents and see if there's anybody else on the boat with you who can help out," Rev. Taylor says. "It's a sailboat ride -- the weather changes and the currents change and the wind changes. It's not a train ride."
The priest and author speaks from experience. "That's the hardest thing I've had to accept in my life," she admits. "I just thought I had to pick the right train -- and I worked hard to pick the right train. And darned if I didn't get off at the end of it and find out that was just a midway station."
Barbara Brown Taylor's full interview with Oprah airs on "Super Soul Sunday" this Sunday, Nov. 9, on OWN at 11 a.m. ET, during which it also streams live on Oprah.com, Facebook.com/owntv and Facebook.com/supersoulsunday.