Spring training — though it was cut short for us this year — made me very excited for our team. We added a few big-name players who came in and seem to balance out our team very well. We have great character among the guys on our team, creating a great team personality as a whole. If we get to play this year, we have a great recipe for success.
During spring training, no one puts a whole lot of stock into the results; it’s more about the process. We’re not playing nine-inning baseball and the starters aren’t driving the game. As we keep going, each day drawing nearer to the start of the season, you see more urgency as players get locked in mentally and physically, ready for the real competition. I almost feel like it’s good for us to experience a little bit of adversity during this time. That way, we all gain a drive to be better, work harder, and iron out the kinks before the real season begins.
As followers of Christ, we need to have the same mentality. We need to always be locked in, with a sense of urgency as we take each day. If we’re not enthusiastic about seeing your relationship with God grow and improving the lives of others, you’re not going to reach your end goal. We all have moments when we grow tired, and maybe we don’t feel like reading the Bible or going to chapel, but that’s when we have to press forward.
In baseball, we have to push ourselves through the long season. It’s a great game, but it’s a long one. You don’t always feel like putting in the workout or watching the film, but in order to see the results you want to see, you have to push yourself. A lot of patience is learned in the game of baseball. A lot of patience is needed. I see the same disciplines needed in my Christian walk. The level of discipline you put in and the commitment you make in the game reflects how you treat your teammates, coaches and fans. The same love and passion you put into your work show in the way you interact with others. It’s contagious to your teammates and it will put fear into your opponents.
When we’re fully focused on God, people will take notice. His character will seep into your actions and your words, reflecting in every aspect of your life. It may be a constant battle to push yourself, but the results are well worth the effort. The intimacy you experience with God will bring about more victories for you than any you might experience in your craft.
For the past few years, I’ve been a part of a daily Bible engagement plan with a group of the Cardinals I used to play with. Led by Adam Wainwright, we receive a text each day starting conversation around the Scripture we were reading for that day. This year, I wanted to keep that going but I wanted to implement it with my Diamondback teammates. To do this, I had to be the one to take charge. In order to see ripple effects made on this team, I had to stir up the waters. I knew going into this that I had to be consistent. Something like this can quickly lose steam for no intentional reason. Life getting in the way is an easy excuse, but I didn’t want to go there. It’s been a huge challenge for me to keep this going, and in doing so, it holds me accountable to get in the Word every day. I know that not only am I going to grow by doing this, but others are counting on me.
By taking a step of faith and pushing myself to be consistently growing in my faith in Christ, I can help others do the same.
— 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: https://theincrease.com/author/luke-weaver/
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