As a guest and a fan here at the Pathway Games event here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I’ve had a chance to observe the opening day of individual player workouts. There are hundreds of people roaming around the two-year-old facility, including players hoping to find their path to college baseball. Gino Grasso and his staff know how to organize and execute an exceptional event - that’s for sure. It’s encouraging to see where the game continues to grow and find life, even in the desert!
This event, like so many others around the country, open the door for us to explore the spiritual implications and lessons of this time of life and where the Gospel of Jesus is being spoken in the Language of Baseball. It’s an incredible thought that ancient writings from thousands of years ago would still be relevant here today during a baseball event. Below are a few of my thoughts. I’m sure there are more and I’d enjoy hearing yours as you attend showcases and tournaments across the country this summer!
First, God knows you. Every hair on your head. He made you and designed you for a purpose in this world. It might not feel that way while you’re in a line waiting to show off what you can do. It might not feel that way if you don’t post a number you want on the radar gun. It might not feel that way if you strike out or get lit up on the mound in front of 30 college scouts. But it’s true. One of those purposes is for your own good and here it is: it’s to persevere through difficulty. It’s one of the greatest lessons baseball teaches us on a daily basis. Life isn’t going to be perfect, and your baseball path certainly isn’t going to resemble perfect or easy. Keep persevering.
Second, seek out and trust adults who want to know you the way God knows you. Being “Well Coached” is one of the greatest compliments you can receive. Listen to the wise counsel of those who have gone before you. Listen to those who want to feed into you and know you. Find coaches who give you love and accept you even before you make a play for them. Those people represent the unconditional love that God has given to all of us. Live a life “from” the acceptance of God, not constantly working “for” that acceptance. You’ll play much better because of it.
Lastly, one of the promotional posters here in Albuquerque this weekend asks, “#WhereDoYouFit.” You fit with your brothers - your brothers on your high school team and your club team. You fit in the baseball brotherhood. You have an important role to play. Build that brotherhood now and then when you play in college. Find those connections, honor them, and stay with them. We need you. We need you to make meaningful connections within the game, both with your brothers and to the game, or we will see the game drift away. It’s too great of a game and it has too much to offer. Care for the game and one another. You fit here.
The Bible is as alive on a baseball field at a baseball complex in the middle of the New Mexico desert as it is in any church. Complete Game will continue to be here to support and encourage you in that journey!