Dominate Today - Steven Souza

A lot of people thought this injury would mean the end for me, but that’s just not the case. In fact, I’ve been passing through each hurdle with flying colors. And thanks be to God that I have been. 

I haven’t slowed down in my rehab for one second. In addition to the 5-6 days of rehab I have had each week, I’ve been doing whatever I can at home. I don’t enjoy being injured, I don’t think anyone does, but I look at the rehab process like I do the game of baseball: I want to dominate it. I am doing everything I possibly can at every moment I can to make sure I come back stronger. 

After my 2016 hip surgery, my hip is now stronger than it’s ever been. And even though that was a very different kind of injury, I know there’s the possibility of the same outcome for my knee. If I work hard at this, like I did with my hip, I will reap the benefits in the end. 

God wired me to be able to sustain this type of setback — mentally and physically. I’m hard-wired to not let this break me. Yes, it’s mentally and physically tough, and yes, I want to be out there playing. I’m not able to do the thing I love right now, but I’m working hard so that I can go back to doing what I love. I’m grateful that my faith was as strong as ever when the injury happened so that I could enter into the surgery and recovery process by trusting God with it all. God doesn’t make mistakes, and when I see things from this perspective, I can walk through anything with joy. 

We all seem to take our health as if we deserve to be healthy, but in reality, it’s a privilege to be healthy. Whether it’s an injury or illness we face, we have to accept the cards we have been dealt, knowing that everything is a gift from God. When I see things from this angle, it puts everything (including this game) in its place. This is just a game and there are bigger things. Yes, I want to be out there more than anything, but I will be out there again. 

I try to walk through every day with enthusiasm, putting in as much effort as I can to make sure no stone is left unturned. I’m doing everything I can, all for the glory of God. I’m not depressed or stressed because I know that I can only control the things I can control. Because I know God is in control of it all, I can walk through this with joy. 

There’s a song by Elevation Worship called “Do It Again,” and this has been my melody throughout this trial. I’ve seen God move mountains, and I’ll see Him do it again. In the book of Daniel we see the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three men were about to walk through the fire for God’s will to be done and they simply told their enemies that God was fully capable of saving them — but even if He didn’t, they would choose to trust Him. Their faith in God has strengthened my own. When I keep this at the forefront of my mind, I’m able to live out the calling of Philippians 4:12, which says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” 

I don’t need to look ahead, I just need to dominate today. 

— Steven Souza, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder

Steven Souza is a regular contributor of The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions. Check out Steven’s full profile on The Increase: https://theincrease.com/author/stevensouza/ 

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