For me, the ride has been quite bumpy this season. The challenges have been immense — ones to learn from and build upon for the future. Add these challenges to the current situation our world is in…
One of the hardest things for me this season has been the inability to build upon relationships on the team and the lack of fellowship with each other in a way that doesn’t involve staying six feet apart and wearing masks. I’ve never been challenged in such a way where my pursuit of fellowship and personal connection with people is hindered — not in the way I am with these protocols in place. These walls we are forced to build between each other are not fun; keeping my distance is hard.
Our team has been trying to be strategic with Bible study Zoom calls and occasionally getting in a small gathering where we can keep our distance to dig into God’s Word together. But with the extremely structured schedule we have had this season, the time you have to choose what you want to do is limited. You have to make this a priority or it will get lost in the shuffle.
As players, we don’t want to admit that not having the same team camaraderie will detract from the game or from our performance, and we don’t want to use it as an excuse, but I truly think it makes an impact. At least it does for me. Pitchers are not part of the positive conversations in the dugout and I’m unable to get my teammates fired up because we have to sit in a designated area in the stands when we’re not pitching. We’re missing a huge element of the game, not to mention the lack of a crowd.
Everyone is dealing with the same situation in the major leagues. Some are thriving off it, and some are not. But there’s no denying that the consistency that the fans bring, and the camaraderie that’s felt within a dugout is missed.
Any time something is taken away from you, especially something that’s such a big part of you, you’ll feel it. As baseball players, we become so locked in to the life and environment that we live in, we often don’t understand or appreciate what we have until we no longer have it. No amount of white noise or cardboard cutouts in the stands can replicate what was once there. It’s amazing to think of all the little things in life we take for granted — food, water, oxygen, community. When we don’t have it anymore, we gain perspective and appreciation.
This season would be so much harder if I didn’t have Christ in my life to anchor me. I’d be tempted to feel like I’m making no progress. With Christ in my life, I’m always moving forward.
It may be a dark time right now, but instead of us trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel, let’s be the light in the midst of the darkness that others are drawn to.
— Luke Weaver, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher
Luke Weaver is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Luke’s Increase profile here.
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