After being in baseball for 11 seasons, you realize you have no control over anything. In the big leagues, schedules are always set for you, determining when and where you need to be. When everything, including baseball, was shut down because of COVID-19, I was thrown off. I went home from spring training instead of off to a new city with a team, and I felt like I was in a different life.
We thought we would be back after two weeks so I decided to take a few weeks off and rest. Then we heard it was going to be a lot longer than that, so I began working out at home and a local gym (wearing a mask while working out in the Texas heat is not fun). Soon, we got a small group of guys together and created what we called the “Corona League.” Together, the 10-15 of us did batting practice and tried to create some sense of normalcy in the midst of it all.
It’s during times like these when I ask myself, “Is baseball my identity? Am I stuck in it? Or is the Lord teaching me patience right now?” When your whole life is routinely put out before others as you’re playing a sport, you’re in their hands. They (coaches, executives, fans) are the ones in control of so much. But suddenly, no one was in control except God. He was the only one who knew what was going on and why. That’s not an easy thing to handle as a type-A person.
This year, I’m going into the season with a perspective change. I have seen just how fragile we are as humans. Though we are strong in some ways, we, as Christians, realize that we have to cling to the Lord. He’s in control of all situations, and even though at times we may be under the illusion that we are, we’re not. That is the definition of true faith in Jesus Christ — trusting that He’s in control and we’re not. Last season helped me see that I can’t take one day for granted, not just in my career, but in my health and life. Many have died in the last year, but we have been blessed with another year.
I’m blessed to be able to play the game of baseball. Even though we have to wear masks, go through regular testing and socially distance ourselves from each other, when I look at it all from a 30,000-foot view, we are blessed just to be here. Yes, I hope for normalcy to return, but I’m taking it one day at a time.
The year 2020 was definitely a harder year for me to stay connected with brothers in Christ. I still did my best to be in the Word every day and get my day started in the right direction, but it wasn’t easy. I’m thankful for my faith. If it wasn’t for the eternal perspective God’s given me, I know I could easily freak out over all the unknowns.
Many wrestle with questions such as, “What am I living for? Just the now?” If only they knew that there is an eternal being who offers salvation to all of us, who have an expiration date. We can rise and have a perfect life with Jesus. This life here on earth can be scary, but having a relationship with Christ Jesus and knowing that no matter what we are going through, He is with us, that’s true faith. James 1:2 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds.” The peace of God that He’s given us through His Holy Spirit can rule our hearts, and with Him we can get through anything.
God has a plan; nothing surprises Him. That gives me the peace to say that I’m going to do the best I can do to be an image bearer of Christ.
— Chase Anderson, MLB pitcher
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