Make Your Days Matter - Steven Souza

For the past few months, I’ve been trying to release my expectations and see what God has for me in each moment. There’s no point in worrying about the things I can’t control. I’m not going to waste time over it. I’m not the one who has the power to put baseball back into play, so instead I’m taking full advantage of spending more time with Jesus. 

When the stay-at-home orders first came into effect, my wife and I discussed what we want to be able to say at the end of it all. Would we simply say, “Thank God we survived,” or would we instead be able to say, “Wow, we actually thrived during that time! Our family drew closer and we were able to be intentional with the people we really care about”? Instead of allowing frustration, fear or doubt to take root in our hearts, we’ve been choosing to turn to the Lord. 

One of the best things we’ve been doing is to keep our phones away from our sides as much as possible. I try to physically distance myself from it so I have to intentionally walk to it if I need it. It gives me a second to think about going back to my phone. Is it necessary to go to social media? Or can I sit and be present where I am and with the people I’m with? 

I’m also going to bed earlier than I normally do so that I can wake up earlier to not only have 30 minutes of time in God’s Word and prayer before my kids wake up, but so that I can have as much time as possible with Him. I don’t spend my extra time mindlessly scrolling a media outlet of choice, but I want to grab every moment I can to read a little more about Jesus, or to pray for my life group, my teammates or family. Spending time with my kids and family takes precedence over any entertainment I can think of. I want to actively make decisions that are Kingdom-minded. 

Our days aren’t empty. As my friend Jefferson Bethke has said, our days all start with rocks, and every time you choose to do something, you’re taking rocks out and saying they’re not as important as the new rocks you’re putting in. There are certain things I want to do — spend time with Jesus and with my family. My day is not just an open day, it’s a day to live out my priorities. I aim to stay committed to these priorities without letting outside things distract me. 

What are you giving your attention to? Attention is the most valuable thing we can give. What we give our attention to shapes our lives. I want to be intentional about what I give my attention to because it will shape my soul. 

I don’t want this mindset to change when baseball starts up again. If something comes into my life, something’s gotta give. What will that be? 

Spend some time writing down the priorities that fill your day. When you see those on paper, think about if that’s who you want to be. You have the choice to shape your schedule. We all say we’re too busy, but we’re always going to be too busy if you choose to be. Make your days matter. 

— Steven Souza, Chicago Cubs outfielder

Steven Souza is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Steven’s full profile here

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