If there's one thing I lived for as a young person growing up in Nashville, TN, it was sports. I spent countless hours playing baseball, basketball and football, and like many kids, I aspired to be a professional athlete.
While I enjoyed all three sports, I excelled in baseball and experienced a great deal of success in high school.
In addition to receiving district MVP honors three times, I was the 1988 Tennessee State Player of the Year and was a 1989 Gatorade First Team All-American selection. On top of that I was the first baseball player at my high school to have my number retired.
Following my senior year, I was drafted by the Cleveland Indians, and although I was completely consumed with becoming a professional ballplayer, I did not sign a contract. Instead, I went on to play at Vanderbilt University where I became an All-Southeastern Conference selection in 1992 as well as the team MVP.
Once again I was drafted -- this time by the Boston Red Sox, and that's when I made a decision to enter pro ball. I've enjoyed my experience since that time, and I feel fortunate to have to have realized my childhood dream.
While there was a tremendous amount of satisfaction that came with reaching this particular goal, I learned a life-changing lesson in the process. Sometimes we can be so focused on our own interests that we lose sight of what life is really all about.
I discovered at an early age that the real meaning of life is knowing the Author of Life -- Jesus Christ -- and serving him.
I grew up in a Christian school and always attended church, and I knew a lot about God. I made a decision to receive Jesus Christ into my life at age 9, but in high school, college and early pro ball, I gave in to many temptations and did not always honor the Lord with my life. Although people saw a good person on the outside, I knew in my heart that I was not living for Jesus Christ.
Even though I was saved, during my third year of pro ball I realized that the Lord was showing me I had to give every aspect of my life over to Him in order to have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) That year I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ. I asked Him to guide and direct my life, and I began a personal relationship with Him.
I can honestly say that Jesus Christ has given my life meaning and purpose. Before I asked Him to come into my heart, my self-worth was based on how I performed. Because I belong to the Lord, I no longer have to worry about how the world sees me. Jesus Christ loves me unconditionally, and I can experience peace and contentment in every situation.
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.