As I was watching my alma mater play baseball this weekend, I was sitting off to the side enjoying a beautiful night game. The air was crisp, the lights were highlighting the beautiful lines cut into the grass, and the leather was popping with two excellent pitchers on the mound. The game is pure, and was one of my first loves. It has provided me some of my fondest memories and greatest relationships. As I watch these games, someone inevitably comes up to me and asks the same question.
“Do you miss the game?”
The answer is always the same. “Of course I do.” Nobody that truly loves the game would say “no” to that question. As I started thinking tonight, I don’t feel like I am giving the most complete answer. I was never the prospect that was going to be a “can’t miss” MLB draft guy. I had a hand full of Division 2 and two mid-major Division 1 opportunities. God directed my path to Anderson University (the full story will be in a later post), and I pitched for four years for the Trojans. I ended up ranking second in school history in career wins and ended up credited with the schools first Division 2 postseason win. I also ranked 10th nationally in ERA at the end of my junior season. My time was plagued with arm injuries that I competed through, and I never missed a scheduled start. None of this is meant as boasting, but I needed to say that to make my point. I never have to go to a baseball game and regret not using the talent God blessed me with to the fullest extent possible.
As I look back, my baseball games are over. At 35 years old, I couldn’t trot to the mound from the dugout if the Braves called me today. God’s call to use my talents on the field are over, but I see what God has blessed me with for the next inning of my life. He continues to show me ways that I can live my life for Him with no regrets. When my time on this earth is done, I want people to be able to say, “he used all that God blessed him with for God’s Glory.”
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
I used to live and die with each baseball game, letting it define me. I never thought that I would be as passionate about anything else. It is funny how God can take something that many people still discuss with me as a tragedy, and unleash such a zeal within me for living according to His Plan. The clarity for me has never been clearer, the peace never been more accessible, and the weight of my mission never been heavier. As many times as I have dodged it, I have never been more committed to the path. This makes it harder than ever, as the enemy becomes more persistent, The more that I see attacks from Satan, the stronger I feel that God shows me His Presence. Thank you for all that continue to pray for me, as I am not perfect. There is enormous power in the prayer from our brothers and sisters in Christ,
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.