Retirement and Katahdin

20140518-102659.jpgI did not think that I would ever compare the Appalachian Trail to my retirement from Dayton Christian School but as I was walking off campus for the last time on Thursday, there was a similar emotion and parallel feeling that impressed my spirit.

I had reached the end of the trail – 2,186 miles on the trail and now 10,585 days at the school. The approach to the summit was 20140924-194204.jpgfilled with excitement and a great sense of accomplishment. There were those moments of looking back over the mountains and valleys as the final peak came into view. People’s faces came to mind that had made the journey such a pleasure. Some of the adversity that made the adventure was re-read in the journal of my mind.

Then the final hike down Mount Katahdin and the final walk to the car in the parking lot brought the tears of realization that they journey has over. Tomorrow would not hold the same routine of preparation, encounters on the path, and comrades with a common purpose. That trail was conquered… that mission complete. Others would follow in the footsteps and enjoy that taste of fellowship of God in special ways.

20140925-095906.jpgFinally, there was the “hallelujah” of life after the trail. Hopping in the car of my best friend and heading down the road to what God had in store back home; climbing into my little red Civic and driving home to what awaits behind the door of retirement. This feeling of anticipation after accomplishment is such a mixed bag of emotion and mental chaos. On my last day on the Mountain I had tears of longing to see my wife, family, and friends, but a sadness of saying good-bye to the trail and its community of smelly hikers with crazy names. On my last day of ministry at D.C. I experienced a collection of tears and smiles, joy and reflection as I said farewell to beloved colleagues and walked the empty halls of this special building.

DCHS BuildingI am not sure what adventure God is calling me to now that my superintendent/principal hats have been hung in the closet, but I know it will be pretty exciting. I enter this time with the same comfort from God’s word that I did beginning the hike of my life – Psalm 91:1, 9, 15 – ‘Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty….If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent….He will call on Me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Dayton Christian, Mount Katahdin, Retirement, Thru-Hike, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Retirement and Katahdin

  1. janloyd

    Loved this post, Dave. There was joy in both journeys, wasn’t there? Prayers for you, dear brother, as you begin your next one 🙏❤️

  2. Thanks Jan – I always enjoy your comments of encouragement.

  3. Susan Saxe

    What a great analogy. What a great adventure! Our family is so very thankful that our paths had crossed with yours and Cathy’s. So many people like ourselves began our adventure at D.C. first by meeting you. We were so blessed to know that you prayed for our kids as we had transitioned to Dayton. Your heart-felt concern and care for our kids and the thousand or more students that you have had a great influence on was palpable. Your careful and thorough handling of God’s Word and yours and Cathy’s servant-leadership and love I believe were the cornerstone of your ministry at D.C. Thank you!! We are blessed by knowing you!! D.C. won’t be the same, but things rarely do. God alone never changes. We pray that you have a long and blessed next adventure. If your trail ever comes near Indianapolis please look us up. Much love and thanks from the entire Saxe family.

    • Susan – Thank you for your humbling expressions of our times at DC. Your family was always so supportive of the administration and my role at the school. I truly loved my days at Dayton Christian and it was an amazing adventure into the faithfulness of God. My life was so impacted by gracious families like yours. My last journey to the car after closing my office door for the last time was filled with lots of emotion as I reflected over the experiences of the journey. The next chapter will be just as exciting as God continues to provides opportunities to serve Him.

  4. Eddy

    Congratulations, Dave! I’m so proud you. What a journey!

    • Thanks, Eddy. Congrats on completing your Master’s and beginning your next big adventure in your career. Keep in touch and let me know what you’re doing and where I can get your first book.

  5. Congratulations on a number of fine accomplishments. You’ve fought the good fight. Keep running the good race. Keep the faith. (I know you will.) If you need something to do, you can consult on my final thru-hike planning. Leaving Springer on 2/25.

  6. RTK – Thanks for your kind words. With a little less demand on my life, I would be happy to provide any consultation for your exciting thru-hike. Be prepared for lots of cold and ice and snow if you leave in February. The Smoky’s will greet you with crazy weather. I so appreciated your support in 2014 and one of the best meals on my hike to Maine.

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