How would you feel if someone offered you a six-figure salary to do something you really enjoy?
Right out of high school I was blessed with the choice of a lifetime: I could have signed a six-figure baseball contract with the New York Yankees or played football at Notre Dame where I would have caught passes from Joe Montana.
It was a tough decision because the Yankees were the defending world champions at the time, and the Fighting Irish were the defending national champs in college football. With only three days to choose, I signed the baseball contract and became a professional athlete at age 17.
There I was -- a first-round draft pick (18th overall) suddenly thrown into the sea of life where I would sink or swim. It wasn't easy. There were times when I thought I was making progress in life when, in reality, I was fighting to stay above water.
According to my timetable, I figured that I would be up to the major-league level in four years. Instead I spent my first five years playing in the A leagues and wound up having two knee operations.
Even though I had a great deal of enthusiasm for the game, I began to experience a void in my life. In an effort to fill that void I wanted a taste of whatever the world had to offer -- even drugs and alcohol. I soon discovered that going with the flow of this world only leads to destruction. Then after the 1988 season I remembered that I had a great friend who understood all of my problems and could help me even in life's darkest moments. His name is Jesus.
Growing up in a Christian home, I knew who God was, and I knew what it meant to follow Jesus Christ. But once I became a professional athlete, baseball took priority over everything else. I couldn't experience real joy and genuine peace in my life because God was no longer in control -- baseball was in control. I had been trying to do everything on my own -- without any help. I quickly learned that, on our own strength, we fail as human beings, but God is right beside us ready to lend a hand. All we have o do is ask for His help.
Once I rearranged my priorities and became serious about my personal relationship whit Jesus Christ, things began to happen. God blessed me with a new enthusiasm for baseball -- not because I stayed at the major-league level, but because I wanted to please Him in everything I did. After all He was the one who gave me the talent to play the game.
Playing for the Lord doesn't diminish the importance of winning and giving 100 percent. But when I put everything into proper perspective, I realize that there is nothing I can gain (materially speaking) from baseball that will last.
Think about it. Everything the world has to offer (money, trophies, luxuries, fame) is temporary. All that we own can be destroyed or taken from us or eventually wear out. Even our bodies won't last, and if death comes knocking on our door tomorrow (and what guarantee do we have of being alive), what are we left with to enjoy? What can we take with us? There are no second chances in this life. Death is the beginning of eternity. Do you know for sure that you'll spend eternity in heaven?
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.