Even Bank Presidents Want Spiritual Awakening

dogmaticAfter 30 years in banking, David Mackaman was burnt out. Exhausted with the corporate pressures of constantly improving performance, at age 55, he retired as regional president of Wells Fargo Bank’s operations in Des Moines, Iowa. When asked what he planned to do with the rest of his life, he replied that it would involve “exploring spiritual aspects of the human condition,” as well as eating better and exercising more.

His self-published book, “Dogmatic Slumber: My Journey to Awakening,” tells the story of his first adventure upon retirement – a four month stay in a tiny village in France. Mackaman rented a house in Pontlevoy where his cousin was leading a study-abroad program for American students. Mackaman revels in his new life of hanging out with college students, eating French food, bicycling the countryside and appreciating art.

In parallel to his travel adventures, Mackaman reads all the love letters that his parents sent to each other during World War II. He does not have fond memories of his father, whom he remembers as being a heavy drinker with a bad attitude. But as he reads the letters, dubbed “Darling Edith, Dearest Wayne,” he begins to sympathize with his father who, coincidentally, captained an LCT landing craft during the Allied Invasion at Normandy, France.

The one thing Mackaman did have in common with his father: they were both atheists. However, after he strikes up a friendship with one of the professors at the study-abroad program, a former Jesuit priest, he begins to investigate Christianity through his friend and through all the religious art in France. Ultimately, his spiritual journey dovetails with his forgiveness of his father.

Although Mackaman’s book is self-published, it’s well written and edited, and he has a great sense of humor, able to poke fun at himself as he navigates his new “post-retirement” life.

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