This is not the first time our family has gone through transition. We’ve been prepared for this season of not knowing what’s coming next.
Before I went to play in Korea in 2017, my fiancée (now wife) and I were waiting to see what offers I would get to play in the States. We didn’t even consider playing overseas, but when the opportunity came up, we learned to really trust God as we asked Him, “What do you want from us?” Stepping out into the unknown, across the world, was no easy decision, but it did deepen our trust in the Lord.
Now we are fully prepared for whatever God has for us. We know the process will never be easy, there will always be trials in life, but we also know God will always use our lives for His good. We know that we will never be able to make something come out of nothing, only God can. We’re glad to be able to lean on Him in every situation. Seasons like these grow our relationship with Him and with each other, and they strengthen our prayer life. They cause us to stay in the Word and enjoy the moments we have as a family on this journey because at any point, this could be taken away from us. You never know what’s next.
God is challenging me right now with the transition of baseball. This sport is something I’ve always done. It’s easy for an athlete to claim that baseball is not their identity, but when it comes down to real life, we really have to trust God. It’s tough because I want to know what God wants me to do, but He doesn’t always want us to know right away. He’s often asking us to be patient and wait on Him. While I want to transition to the next thing, God wants me to simply trust His will and His timing.
Now that we have two little boys, I find it important for them to see me playing. I want them to see what I’ve done as a career and be able to enjoy coming to the stadium with me and joining me in the locker room. Before I was married and had kids, I would see players bring their kids into the locker room and I thought, “Man, I want to do that someday with my own kids.” The chance to be able to do that pushes me to keep working hard in the offseason so that I can play with longevity. I want it more for them than for myself.
I hope that my boys see that I never waver in my work ethic. I want them to see that no matter what situation I’m in, the hard work goes in every day. I’m always going to be the first one there and the last one to leave. If you want to be the best, you have to put the work in. I want them to know that, as a player, you build friendships with everyone on the team. It doesn’t matter what their skin color is, what religion they claim, or what political beliefs they hold, you work together as a team. I want to be able to take them up to any player on my team and have a conversation with them, and give them a high-five. It doesn’t matter who is on your team, everyone is your teammate. Especially as a follower of Christ, we’re called to minister to everyone, drawing them closer to Jesus and letting them know the power of God’s Word.
My sons motivate me to be more bold in my faith. In the moments when I do find myself slipping up, I’m reminded of the fact that I don’t only want to be the best follower of Christ I can be for my own sake, but because I know I have people watching me 24/7.
Even though my kids are still young, they’re watching, and they’ll be watching for a long time. It’s not just about the things I say, it’s what I do as well. They are a huge motivating factor for me to do the right things, the right way. I have a responsibility to raise them to be Godly men, and I aim to do so, no matter what comes next.
— Xavier Scruggs, professional baseball player
Xavier Scruggs is a regular contributor to The Increase and provides monthly articles and opinions. Check out Xavier’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/xavierscruggs/
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