As baseball returns this season, I couldn’t be more excited to take the field. Even though we have masks we have to wear, assigned seats on buses, restrictions on how many can gather at one time, and meetings outside, the game of baseball is still the same. The only big change for us is that the energy, atmosphere and intensity are very different due to the fans not being in the stands. Most parks are pumping in artificial crowd noise, but it’s still nothing like a regular game. It may take all year to get used to these changes, but hopefully, this will be the last time we have to do this.
Everyone is being very disciplined about following the protocol put in place. There are big consequences if someone tests positive for COVID. The process to come back to play is very lengthy; no one wants to face that. We all just want to get out there and compete.
It doesn’t matter if I agree or disagree with all the rules put in place, the Bible clearly states that God is the one who places people in authority over us. As a Christ-follower, it’s my job to do what they are asking us to do, despite my opinions. As long as it doesn’t conflict with my beliefs, I need to be respectful of what’s put in place. More times than not, these rules are set with our best interests in mind, and they’re done by people who know a lot more about this than I do. So I will do my best to honor the authority figures above me for the sake of everyone around me.
Likewise, God sometimes asks us to do things we don’t understand or feel like. There have definitely been times in my life when I’ve felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to go talk to someone who might not be a believer. It’s not always comfortable, but what I’ve discovered about listening to God’s guidance over the years is that these promptings are always from Him. He’s going to lead me in the way that will bring Him glory and encourage others, so I try to be obedient to it. Early in my walk with Christ I would sometimes ignore such promptings, but I’ve learned to listen and trust. By slowing down enough to listen to Him, I’ve experienced Him work both in and through me for His Kingdom.
It’s important for us to move at the pace God wants us to move at. It is so easy for me to fill up my time and my days to a level that leaves no margin — no margin and space for me to hear God speak to me. Although most, if not all, of the things I fill my days with are good things, I can’t fill my days so much that my soul gets neglected. I need to slow down and be still before God.
While being socially distant this year, I’ve had less time with people, but more time to pray for them. Isolation gives us the gift to step back and breathe and pray for those around us. God has placed on my heart the urgency to pray. I no longer want to miss the opportunity to do so. So when I’m not able to be face to face with people, I will pray to the One who is always with me.
— Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop
Nick Ahmed is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Nick’s Increase profile here.
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