What's the most important decision you've ever made?
I'll never forget the greatest decision I ever made in 1987. It changed my whole life. I not only became a better person as a result of it, but I also became a better player. Let me explain.
I was a three-sport athlete in high school before playing baseball at Mississippi State, and in 1985 we played in the college world series. I was an All-American selection that year and was also drafted by the San Francisco Giants.
Three years into my minor-league career, my performance took a turn for the worse. I lost nearly twice as many games as I won, and my earned run average was high. I struggled with my personal life as well -- drinking too much, wild temper rages...things I saw others doing that I thought made me a bigger person, but in reality it caused me great pain.
Little did I know what was in store for me when I decided to play winter baseball in Puerto Rico following the 1987 season. I met a fellow ballplayer who allowed me to share my struggles with him. Through a series of discussions, he helped direct me to the one person who knew more about my problems than I did -- someone who really cared for me and loved me unconditionally. His name is Jesus.
When I took time to consider the truths about Jesus in the Bible, I realized that He was the only person who could give my life meaning, purpose and direction.
When I was in the 10th grade, I remember making a decision to accept Jesus into my heart, but I didn't tell anyone, and I never knew much about what the Bible had to say about Him. At that time I wasn't serious about my beliefs. God occupied a space in my mind, but He was never a priority in my life.
The most important thing I learned was that it wasn't enough for me to know God intellectually. I needed to know God through a personal relationship with his only Son Jesus Christ. When I made my decision to give my life to Jesus, many things changed. My top priority in life was to please God in everything I did, and my family took precedence over baseball.
I also began to experience success in my career as I looked at the game from a brand new perspective. As I continued to work on my pitching, I realized that I could be satisfied with my performance (no matter what the outcome) if I gave my very best effort which is all God asks for.
I made it to the major leagues in 1988 and became an All-Star selection in 1990 while ranking eight in the league in saves (19) and having the lowest earned run average (1.56).
But success in life is not determined by performance, income or fame. The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
If you would like to know more about Jesus and what He can do for you, just click the button on the left side of your screen to change your life.