The Washington Post's Sally Quinn recently spoke with Ben Carson on the campaign trail about his faith — and how that faith has shaped his worldview, his campaign, and his life.

It's a key moment in the Ben Carson origin story: When the candidate was enrolled at Yale, he was woefully unprepared for a chemistry exam that he needed to do well on as a premed student. He hadn’t studied enough and was terribly worried. That night, he wrote in his book “Gifted Hands,” he prayed to God  and someone came to him in his dreams and gave him the answers to the questions. The next day, Carson said, the questions he dreamed about were all on the exam, and he got a 97.

“For whatever reason, the God of the Universe, the God who holds galaxies in his hands, had seen a reason to reach down to a campus room on planet earth and send a dream to a discouraged ghetto kid who wanted to become a doctor,” he wrote.

If Carson believes God was that invested in the outcome of an undergraduate chemistry exam, does he believe He would intervene to affect the results of a presidential election?

“Well, I don’t know what will happen to my campaign for the presidency, but I do know that up until this point it’s been a force greater than myself,” Carson says. “And no one can really explain what’s happened here. I was talking to a famous pollster within this past week and he said, ‘We were all sitting around talking and, you know, none of us can explain why you’re doing so well.’”

He won't say whether God wants him to be president. He doesn't rule the idea out, either. “I would put it this way. [The campaign] wasn’t something I particularly wanted to do. ...

“And I finally just said, ‘Look Lord, you know this is not on my bucket list. And the pundits say it’s impossible anyways.’ ...

“But, I said, if you really want me to do this, then you will have to open the doors. I’m not going to push them open. And the doors have flung open. So I don’t know what the eventual end of it all is, but I promised that I would walk through the doors if they opened.”

Carson says only that God’s plan for him is to continue walking on this pathway. “I don’t know what his eventual plan is. When I commit to something, you know, I go into it wholeheartedly. If I’m not president, it will not be a devastating blow to me.”

Carson says he is an optimist. “If I wasn’t an optimist, I believe I would sit back and relax and play golf and not set the alarm clock and read all of the books I’ve wanted to read and watch all the movies I want to see.”

He wouldn't be burdened by the loss, he says, because he wouldn't consider that outcome a failure. “I would hope that it would be, if that happened, the American people making a decision that they’re comfortable with. I would hope that my candidacy had in some way helped to awaken large groups of people. And everywhere I go, people tell me, ‘I have never participated, and now I have hope.’ And those people will have come out. And that’s good.”