When I was in the 3rd grade, our assignment was to write a paper on what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wrote that I wanted to be a professional baseball player.
Now, on this side of my life, having just retired from baseball, I am so thankful for the career I had. It took me a long time to reach to reach the big leagues, six years in fact, but I wound up with nine full years in the Majors. I played with the Mets for four years, then the Astros for four, and my final year was with the Dodgers.
I was always the player on the bubble coming out of spring training the last piece of the puzzle. Even when I had a contract I still had to make the team. Thats what happens when youre a utility infielder and defensive specialist. But I always tried to be a positive addition to the clubhouse.
My best offense game was my rookie year. We were playing the Phillies, and I had two doubles and two home runs, one of which was an inside-the-parker. Unfortunately, I broke my hand sliding into home and missed the rest of the season.
My most memorable game came at Wrigley Field. I had grown up a Cubs fan, and my son, TJ, was there. I went 4 for 6 with two homeruns, but playing catch with TJ in Wrigley was more important than the hits.
I grew up knowing about God, but I didnt understand what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Actually, I didnt take it seriously until I was confronted with a situation I could not control A teammate had a great deal of influence on me, and in a hotel room in San Francisco, I got down on my knees and asked Jesus into my life.
God came into my life at a time I was broken. I was at the end of my rope, and He gave me the strength to handle what I was going through.
Now, Im grateful for the trials Ive been through. Im grateful for the brokenness I experienced. Ive learned to rely on the grace of God for all things. I know that I live in His love, and I look forward to the way He will lead me.
My baseball career is over. And there are many options in front of me. I know that whatever I do, God will lead me. He will direct me, and Ill will lean on His grace.
One of my favorite passages says it so well: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5,6)
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