Dear Younger Me Series - "Say Thank You" by Luke Sawyer

 

This week's "Dear Younger Me" letter comes courtesy of the Dominican Republic via Luke Sawyer. After concluding his baseball career (Anderson University/Southern Wesleyan University) in 2012 with a degree in Sports Ministry, Luke and his wife, Abbie, moved to Denver, Colorado to pursue a Masters in Justice and Mission from Denver Seminary, and serve with both Complete Game Ministries and later FCA. They left Colorado in 2015 after completing the degree and moved to the Dominican Republic to continue serving with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Luke is now the Assistant Director for FCA Dominican Republic, and lives with Abbie and their two sons, Isaiah Rawlings (4) and Elijah Fraser (1), in San Pedro de Macoris.

Dear Younger Luke,

Thinking about the amount of time you spent perfecting what you did on a baseball field, I wish you could step back and look at where this game is going to take you. You spent hours in batting cages, indoor facilities, watching film, and watching games, yet you have no idea right now why you are doing it. I wish you could see that your dreams of big league fame and fortune would give way to the reason why your even playing this game in the first place.

Remember that conversation you had with mom, about why you decided not to study Latin, but study Spanish instead so you could talk to your pitchers when your catching in the big leagues, I really wish you would have actually paid attention in that class, it will come in handy.

I wish you would thank mom for making you go out of state for college. You really thought you wanted to play in state and stay close to home. I wish you could see how that decision would play out for you, the things that would happen in your life, that were solely a result of  mom and dad’s wisdom.

It is incredible to think that you have no idea how those decisions you are making right now are affecting your future. Its incredible to think that right now South Carolina seems like the furthest thing from your mind, that Denver, CO would ever be anything more than mom’s hometown, and I doubt you’ve ever even heard of the Dominican Republic.

Go thank mom and dad. Who gave you ever opportunity to succeed but never overstepped their bounds. Thank them for never speaking with your college coach, you will see the other side of that equation. Thank them for traveling to watch you play, and encouraging you even when you finish a game with the hat trick. Thank them for pushing you to go, to get out, to see the world and figure out life for yourself.

Go thank them for showing you how to love kids. Thank them for showing you how to parent. They didn’t do it perfect, neither will you, but they gave you a model. Thank them for staying married, for battling through challenges.

I know as I sit here writing this you could never imagine where baseball will take you. I know you couldn’t imagine where you are living right now. I know you couldn’t imagine doing life in Spanish full time (yeah you will barely pass that Spanish class). I know you couldn’t imagine that baseball will take you around the world, I don’t even think you have a passport.

Luke, thanks for listening to Nick. Thanks for going to Anderson University. Thanks for choosing to follow Jesus at 18, I know you couldn’t imagine the adventure that He will put you on. Listen to coach Rutland, go ahead and take that trip to Nicaragua, you’ll never imagine where it will lead.

Love,
Luke