In my job I have the privilege of getting to know a little bit about a lot of people.

Of course, there are also times when I have the opportunity of establishing a relationship with someone that is a bit more in-depth simply because of more regular interaction.

As I get to know people, I will often ask them about their family, because I know people like to talk about their loved ones, especially their children and grandchildren.

When I ask I do it genuinely, because, to me, there is nothing more important than one’s family.

Anyway, over the past two decades I have had the chance to get to know a local community leader and school administrator pretty well, and I have to admit I am sad that he is leaving town.

I don’t remember the first time I met him, but I do know when I show up at an event where he is, especially as it relates to his position, he always lets me know how much he appreciates that I am there. (It may come as a surprise to you, but there are times when people are not that glad to see that I have arrived.)

I would not necessarily consider him a friend simply because we do not share many common beliefs. He is a Green Bay Packers fan, and to me it even hurts me to know that some day in the future people will read these words and see that I made that reference.

For those of you who have not yet figured it out, the person I am writing about is Dave Gartner, who is leaving St. John Lutheran School at the end of this month. While Dave and I don’t share a lot in common, we do have a common faith that guides the things we do, and I can respect a man who could have easily stayed where it was much more comfortable but decided to make a change in his life because he felt God was calling him to it.

I might not like it, but I have come to accept that it is happening.

Good luck, Dave, it has been my privilege to get to know you and learn about your family.

Oh, and go Vikings.