Some things are important, and some things are not.
People think that baseball players, or any professional athletes for that matter, have it made. They think we're at the top of the world. And in some ways, we are. It's a great life. But it doesn't last. And within the framework of life, it's really not that important.
I enjoy baseball, no question about it. In fact, I had a couple football scholarships with Junior Colleges coming out of high school, and I chose the school that promised I could play baseball as well. Baseball is what I really wanted to do.
I never dreamed the day would come that I would be playing in the big leagues. I had transferred to Auburn University and attempted to play baseball as a walk-on. All I ever really wanted to do was make the team. Then one day, my college coach told me he thought I had the potential to play pro ball. I was drafted in the 2nd round by the Reds, made it to the big leagues for the first time in 1995, and arrived to stay in 1997. I got to be part of the excitement in 1999, as we made a run for the post-season.
But much as I enjoy baseball, and the lifestyle that baseball affords, it is such a fleeting thing. The average time span for a major league reliever is 2.8 years. Within the scope of life, that's not much.
There are other things that are far more important, and far more permanent things like family and God.
I try to stay focussed on the important things the things that have meaning the things that last. I try to keep my priorities in proper perspective and order. I enjoy having spiritual companions on the team. They share my values and help me keep my focus on the things that ultimately matter.
And I try to glorify God. He has blessed me in so many ways, and I want to do everything to His glory. And I would say that even if I wasn't a ballplayer. Whatever else I might have done, or whatever else I will still yet do, I want to do it all to the glory of God.
There is a Bible verse that is a favorite of mine I can do all things in Christ who is my strength. (Philippians 4:13) To me, that passage means that I can rely on God, in all things, for all things, through all things, and He will give me whatever strength I need to handle whatever arises.
If I try to draw my strength from any other source, I will fail, for everything else is temporary. My strength will ultimately diminish. My skills will eventually deteriorate. Money can be gone in a heartbeat. Even the very best of relationships are only for a time a season.
But God is forever. And His love is forever. And His strength is forever. And long after my baseball days are done, when I am no longer remembered for accomplishments on a baseball field, God will still be loving me.
And that's the most important thing of all.
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