The Trailblazer

IMG_3876We spent Christmas at 9000 feet in the Colorado Rockies.  One morning I got up early and started up a trail that leads to the three beautiful Harvard lakes, about 1000 ft up the mountain. In the summer this hike takes me about an hour, but in the summer there is no snow.  This year had dumped an enormous amount of the white stuff on the trail and I realized that without snowshoes there was probably no possibility of making it to the lakes.  Then a wonderful surprise. Someone with snowshoes had blazed the trail ahead of me.  Their trip had been several days before and the melting and refreezing of the their tracks in the snow had created a crust that I could walk on.  My face stung with the cold and my lungs ached, but my heart soared as I made my way toward the top.  Occasionally the crust would break and I would find myself floundering hip deep in snow.  It only took a few steps like that to leave me weak and gasping for breath.  Just when I was about to give up, my feet would find purchase on the trail made by someone else and I continued on.  It took me about an hour and a half to finally see the first lake.  There the traiblazers tracks stopped and so did my progress.  I got as close as I could to the beautiful slide that exists just above the lake and snapped this picture.

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Standing waist deep in snow, I prayed a very sincere prayer of thanks for the trailblazer who made this hike possible.

As 2009 slips into history, I am reminded that I am able to enjoy many of the benefits of my life today only because of some “trailblazers” who went before me.  People who defined a path that I could follow.  A path made of wisdom and experience.  A path they intentionally set me upon knowing that their efforts would enable me to go farther then I ever could on my own. I want to honor those trailblazers today.

Thank you to Francis W Peterson, my high school  English teacher, who had a choice to suspend me or encourage me.  She chose to say words that would define the path I would take with my life.  “Kenneth Alpheus Davis,” she said peering into my eyes. “God has given you a gift.  I want you to try out for speech competition, humorous interpretation.  AND stop using your gift to destroy my class.”

Thank you to Robert (Bob) Thompson,  Oak Hills College professor, who told me to stop wasting time and start living up to my God given potential.

These are people who believed in me and believed that God had designed me for a purpose.  They were my trailblazers.  They not only helped give my life direction they took time to set me straight when I strayed from the course.  They set an example that allowed me to impact peoples lives.

Who are the trailblazers in your life?  I would love to hear about them.

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6 thoughts on “The Trailblazer

  1. My trailblazers would be my grandmother who made sure I knew who Jesus was even though my mom and I were kicked out of church when I was 4. (that church didn’t allow divorce.)

    Dr. Reed Lessing: My very first pastor who is now a seminary proff in St Louis. (I was 28 when I joined my first church). He saw something in me and taught me how to study the bible inductively using precepts methods. He told me to never take anyone elses word for what the Bible says, but to search the scriptures myself so that I can fulfill 2 Tim 2:15 “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” He still believes in me – and in my husband Jeff. We saw him this weekend and his new name for Jeff is “Jonah” and promised to stop calling him that only after he is enrolled in Seminary in St Louis. (Smile) Reed is the only man on the planet who can get away with that mainly because 1 we love him and 2 he published a commentary on Jonah last year.

    Mr Oulette: My American History teacher in High School who absolutely hated girls who pretended to be stupid to impress boys. LOL —

    Great post. Blessings on the new year Ken.

  2. My trailblazer was my aunt that raised me as a daughter and kept me constantly focused on Jesus. Then she let me spread my wings and sent me to a small college in Kansas where I met amazing people and tried to follow the Lord. Today I am a nurse, working with hospice and dialysis, being a gram to 6 babes and watching my kids grow in the Lord and have a heart for reaching the world for Him.

  3. Ken, YOU were one of my trailblazers!! I grew up in church all my life but it wasn’t until the Fun in the Son youth retreat in Jeckyll Island Georgia in the early 80’s that I finally understood that I had to make a choice to accept Jesus as my personal savior. You were the speaker that week that changed my life!! I adored you!! You let me know that it is OK for Christians to have fun!! And weird, kooky fun at that!! I have always enjoyed your sense of humor. I bought several of your tapes that week and my friends and I listened to them all the time. I still to this day over 20 years later quote some of your material at least once a week. I can never drive by a “Slow Children Playing” sign without thinking of you!! LOL! The poem about the violin and the touch of the Master’s hand still brings tears to my eyes. I was that violin! You were a speaker at FITS twice when I attended and I went back as a counselor in college because you were going to be there again. I was honored beyond words to find that at one of the staff meetings you had tied my shoes together while I wasn’t paying attention!! Thanks for all you do and for sharing your gift with others!

  4. My trailblazer was my Mom who passed on in 2007. She was passionate in her love & service for the Lord, but she still never thought it was enough. I pray every day that I can at least be half the faithful servant that she was.