Work summoned me to Colorado Springs this week, and recognizing it as home to the international headquarters of the Navigators, I brought along a special book from my personal library. To understand why I chose this particular book to re-read on this trip, some background is in order. In the 60’s and 70’s my mother was church librarian and worked as part-time clerk for the Bible Book Shoppe in Port Arthur, so I grew up with a love of books and enjoyed an inside-track for receiving book treasures on every birthday, Christmas, and other various and sundry occasions. The first book Mom gave me after I made public God’s call to ministry was the biography of Dawson Trotman by Betty Lee Skinner. Daws was an evangelist and founder of the Navigators in 1933. My mother evidently felt that he was a fitting model for her soon-to-be preacher son, and she chose well. Trotman had been instrumental in developing a discipleship movement that continues to this day, and the Word of God shaped his life and ministry. Dawson and his wife Lila are buried together on a rocky hillside of the property called Glen Eyrie that serves as conference center of the Navigators. Just before heading to the airport for my flight back home, I drove to Glen Eyrie and gained permission to hike up to Dawson Trotman’s grave. Winded and slightly overwhelmed by the environs, I made it to the marker where I read the simple inscription: “Dawson and Lila Trotman had a passion to know Christ and to make Him known—and to help generations of others do the same.” Before descending to retrieve my car and head to the airport, I paused to thank God for their example and investment in eternity, and prayed that the same may be true of my own calling.
“But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 | NRSV