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This last weekend Lisa and I went on a mini-vacation.

We visited some good old friends… friends I got ordained with many years ago.

They are now all retired or retiring and living off their pensions.

At one point I asked one of them, “So what did I walk away from? What would my pension have been if I’d stayed?”

It isn’t much.

One said, “I never meant to become a minister. I’m not sure how that happened.”

Me too!

I found it strange that none of them are reading anything or seem to care about what I care about. Not a judgement call. Just an observation.

Do you ever see your old spiritual travel companions you diverged from while they kept going?

Do you look at their lives and wonder if you’d be where they are now?

Do you feel you are happier having strayed than stayed?

I’m as happy as I could possibly be right now.

They seem to be as happy in their own way.

But would I be as happy if I’d stayed, then retired, thrown in the towel, lived on a meagre pension, and picked up a hobby for my retirement years?

I decided a decisive NO!

I always remember what chaplains and palliative care people reveal: that those on their deathbeds always regret NOT doing something rather than regret doing something.

Truly, I believe I would have regretted not diverging and therefore not doing what I do today. Or, more accurately, not being who I am today.

What about you?