In regards to my task of carrying Trevor on my shoulders, Caleb remains a source of inspiration through his trust in God's promises, plans and power:
- Promises: Caleb trusted in the promise God made to Abraham concerning the Promised Land of Canaan when He had said, "To your offspring I will give this Land" (Genesis 12:7). Nowadays we have the benefit of the whole counsel of God in a written form that was not available during Caleb's lifetime. The clear evidence of the fulfillment of hundreds of Biblical prophecies prove that God's promises are trustworthy, and that He always does what He says He will do.
Among them is God's promise that old age is not the time to coast, but rather to climb. He declares as much in this passage from Isaiah, "He gives strength to the weary and increases power to the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:29-31). As I continue to chauffeur Trevor to his jobs with the Angels and the Ducks, I know that the physical drain of years on my life will be more than overcome by the spring of His grace flowing from within.
- Plans: God instructed Moses to send out twelve men to explore and bring back a comprehensive report on the people and produce of Canaan. God's plan for a thorough reconnaissance prior to entering Canaan made perfect sense in that it gave the Israelites ample foreknowledge of the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. Unfortunately, ten of the twelve spies exaggerated the challenges of facing the Anakites ("we looked like grasshoppers to them") in their report and so caused the community to question the goodness of God's plans. Caleb and Joshua, the remaining two spies, recognized the tremendous opportunities for victory that would result from following God's plans.
We weren't sure what God's plans were for Trevor after he graduated from high school and then finished his transitional job training program. Regretfully, we were told to consider career choices such as folding towels in a hotel laundromat. Like most special needs students, Trevor had benefitted from educational mainstreaming where he was taught academic principles and social skills while attending school with 'regular' students. From our family's following of God's instructions to attend church on a regular basis, Trevor received spiritual mainstreaming through his interactions with people of various ages and diverse backgrounds in our congregation. Of course growing closer to God was the most important aspect of his spiritual mainstreaming, but Trevor also developed an outgoing personality and learned how to be composed in the midst of crowds. Though we didn't come to appreciate this until much later, educational and spiritual mainstreaming both played instrumental parts in God's plan to develop the skills that Trevor would need to acquire the very public mainstreaming jobs he enjoys as Greeter for the Angels and Ducks.
- Power: By faith, Caleb and Joshua knew they had the strength to overcome the Anakites because they knew God would empower them to defeat this giant, warlike people living in their large, fortified cities. In fear, the other ten spies focused on the size of their problems ahead of them and not on the greatness of their God behind them. The contrasting ways in which the two groups of spies viewed God determined their fates in life: The ten immediately died in a plague; Joshua had a book in the Bible named after him; and God described Caleb, "But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it." (Numbers 14:24) Caleb's aggressive spirit came from knowing that God's presence guaranteed victory in every area of his life. "'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty." (Zechariah 4:6)
At times I do feel anxious about what lies ahead for Trevor and me, though I know God will never lead us down a path too arduous to follow. The reality is that I just have to use my car to drive Trevor to Angel Stadium and Honda Center at age sixty-one, and I don't have to use my sword to drive the Anakites from their cities at age eighty-five. In his ripe old age Caleb was not content to retire, but instead was determined to pursue God's will for his life by serving Him wholeheartedly. Like Caleb, if I'm seeking to walk under God's power for the rest of my life, then I need to surrender my will over to Him for the rest of my life. "The measure of a man's life should not be its duration of time, but rather its donation to God."--William James
I believe I'm following the path of the Kohathites who carried the holy things of God on their shoulders into the Promised Land whenever I carry Trevor "on my shoulders" to his jobs with the Angels and the Ducks. The articles of the tabernacle carried by the Kohathites blessed everyone by their presence amidst the Jewish nation. Likewise, Trevor's presence at Angel Stadium and at Honda Center blesses everyone in Angel and Duck 'nations'...or so I've been told. One of Trevor's managers said, "Outside of some of the players, Trevor is far and away the most popular person in our building." A corporate sports executive told us, "Trevor is known by over two million people." Trevor himself is blessed to have employment at two jobs where he's found "satisfaction in all his toil--this is the gift of God." (Ecclesiastes 3:13) I've never heard of a job situation where the employers (Angels & Ducks), customers (sports fans) and employee (Trevor) were all more blessed through the hiring of said employee.
I believe I'm also called to follow Caleb's example of serving the Lord wholeheartedly, and not half-heartedly, such as would be the case if we used a bus or train "oxcart" to transport Trevor instead of personally driving him to his jobs. Evangelist Billy Graham was considered so valuable to the cause of Christ that out of concerns for his safety his close associates always accompanied him on plane flights, drove him to his speaking engagements, and searched his hotel rooms before he was allowed to enter. Melissa and I feel we also need to protect Trevor with the safest transportation possible by using our own car, and the most secure place to live in which would be his own room in our home.
Our greatest prayer for Trevor and myself is to remain as strongly committed to serve the Lord wholeheartedly in 2017 at the ages of twenty-seven and sixty-two as Caleb was in 1400 BC at the age of eighty-five.