There are times when we are moving forward with faithful zeal and we are stopped in our tracks the world turned upside down, at least our world. Moses tending his flock called to confront the most powerful man in the world. Gideon advancing with an army and then stripped down to a few hundred soldiers and some jars. Mary listening becomes the mother of the Word. St. Paul, a good and faithful Jew, blinded by Divine light to become the champion of the Gentiles.
Saint Paul fits into this group of people because he too was simply doing his best to serve the Lord. He desired the will of God. He strived to know God and to understand himself in the context of his time as a chosen child of God. His passion was misdirected, but all who genuinely seek God find him.
No matter how strong the grace we always have the power to deny it or fight it. St. Paul said yes to the Lord. His first vocation was that of a Christian. According to the universal call of the baptized, he was called to conversion and holiness. Having received this grace, he then went for months to listen and learn, to deepen his relationship with Christ and to understand his relationship with YWH in this Christian context.
It was only then that he went to the Apostles, the visible Church, to directly enter into the first evangelization. In further discovering and living out his vocation, the brilliant and determined Paul allowed himself to be guided by his mother the Church. He served her and let himself be served by her.
We must not attempt to live our vocation alone or outside the maternal arms of the Church. We may question her and charitably challenge her human members, but we must not leave her. We must be served by her above all in the sacraments, teaching, and tradition. In this way, we remain within the guardrail of the highway of life and can be sure that our fidelity nourishes the people of God and opens us to be nourished.