There were four of us sitting round the meal table. A retail area manager, a graphic designer working largely for the retail industry, a banker and a me, church minister. After years of friendly yet subtle denigration of my chosen profession by these good friends there was a moment's silence. I had listened to the stories of redundancies, cutbacks, non-payment of bills and early retirement. More and more of my friends are talking retirement now - how come they got so old all of a sudden?
'You realise,' said the graphic designer, 'that St has the most secure job of all of us?'
The silence continued. Poignant.
We tell a story these days of a baby boy born in an outbuilding. He may not have stabilised the world yet but certainly helped free me from the necessity of earning a living in order to tell the tale full-time.
Anyone for ministry? It beats having a job.