I Will Rise - Bottom of the Ninth #96

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Bottom of the 9th - I Will Rise

Forging the Brotherhood

The beginning of 2015 will mark the start of a new series, "Forging the Brotherhood." You will see devotionals from coaches, players, and community members around the theme of "brotherhood" for the next few months.

I Will Rise

by Blake Froistad, Valor Baseball Class of 2011

Micah 7:8, “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.â€

Seems like just a moment ago I was running red lights on the way to Saturday morning practice at Hitstreak. I knew if I left my house at just the right time I could be there with just minutes to spare because Chaparral’s team practice had probably ran late…again. No need to be fully awake yet, I usually came to when I walked through the office and heard the sound of 25 pinging bats going off in every direction. If that didn’t do the trick I knew either Jared or Cole would give me a nice friendly tap on the shorts to ensure I was ready to practice.After a bit of nonsense it was time for business. This was senior year. The class of 2011 was going to the team that hung a baseball championship in the trophy case for Valor. No more Silver Creek Curse, no more Wheat Ridge hype, we had one goal in mind…and it was going to end at All-City Park.For me personally? This was going to be my year. I had shown flashes of greatness in past seasons and was about to put it altogether for a grand finale.  Well, that was until about the 7th game. The hits didn’t come, the errors piled up, and what looked to be the comeback for me, just wasn’t. Instead of hitting home runs and throwing people out at the plate, I was encouraging my team vocally from the bench.  My hitting slump had finally gotten the best of me. It wasn’t because I couldn’t hit for power or wait on a curveball. This war was being fought in my mind. It was like a cancer. As I would stand in the batters box, my mind wouldn’t stop thinking. I was out before I even walked up to the plate…because my mind told me I was. Worst part is, I agreed.

The team rolled. We had great chemistry we knew how to have a good time, but also knew how to get a job done. Before we knew it we found ourselves at All City Park on Championship Saturday. We had overcome the Wheatridge pop up (Troka) The Montrose pop out (Steese) and even had the privilege of graduating in our uniforms. The stage was set. Two wins over teams we had previously beaten and that’s a wrap on both baseball and high school…what a great way to go out. However as the first game wore on, the fairytale ending began to slip from our fingertips, as we just didn’t have enough that day. As the last inning approached I made sure I had my Oakleys on to cover up my emotions. I looked around at my senior brothers on the team as the third out came, and the clock struck midnight for us. After a blur of handshakes I remember staring at the ground not wanting to look up to see the emotions of my teammates. As we broke out one last time, the thoughts sank in, and an eerie silence came over me as we unbuttoned our jerseys one last time.

What happened? I mean yeah we lost that’s it move on, but to me? Where did I go wrong? Simply put I let the enemy win. I let those negative thoughts drive me away from what was mine for the taking.

I learned a lot that season and it wasn’t how to hit the cutoff on the glove side every time or how to identify a curveball out of a pitchers hand. It was how to respond to failure. You will hear it all your years in the baseball program at Valor “baseball is a game of failure.†There is nothing more infuriating than walking back to the dugout after a strikeout. You will fail more than you succeed at this game. Period. That’s no different than life. Hate to break it you, but we all know how this ends right? I have yet to meet someone who has cheated death and avoided the grave. Sickness happens, bills need to get paid, jobs are lost, dreams are left broken.

However for us as men, especially Christian men, we know that this isn’t it for us. We know that, some 2000 years ago there was a Man and He did overcome that ultimate failure of death and He did it for us, so that we too can overcome the grave. All that we have to do is simply never give up. I hate how cliché that sounds but that’s really it. Despite all these times that we fail in life and knowing this world is not permanent, you never stop getting back up.

Micah 7:8 says, “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.†This verse is the secret to success. The only time someone fails is when they don’t get up that last time. So the next time you strike out, make an error, or miss your cutoff man, deny those negative thoughts access to your minds, and be unafraid because you have risen to make that next play.

For me, I have an email sitting in my inbox from the athletic program notifying me about TCU baseball tryouts. I’ll be honest I laughed when I first saw it, and this year I was unable to make it due to an illness. But with each passing day that desire play burns a little bit hotter in my soul. As I’m writing this I can see the stadium lights flickering on just down the street. I pass that field everyday on the way to class and my mind asks me what if… So maybe I do it, and if I fall short, maybe it’ll be because I can’t throw 90 or catch up to the fastball. But don’t let it be because I kept driving past that field everyday, ignoring the what if. Who knows, maybe those stadium lights are God’s way of calling me back to the game “…He will bring me out into the light; I will see His righteousness†Micah 7:9.

But as for you, standing on the edge of an incredible season, when that failure comes knocking, RISE. Good luck to you boys this season, we are all pulling for you to break down that barrier and be the best team Colorado has to offer.

“Though I fall, I will rise†-Blake Froistad Class of 2011

Join us for our Baseball Chapel meeting this Friday, February 20 as we continue our "Forging the Brotherhood" series!

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