People ask how we manage to keep up morale when we experience loss after loss. It’s hard to explain. Being on a team, you feel each loss, even on the days you might personally play well. On the days I’m not pitching, the losses are still hard. While winning puts everyone on the team in a good mood, walking away from a loss seems to change our perceptions of the day. You can’t live or die with each game’s outcome, but it does change your perception.
Being with the same 24 guys for seven to eight months of the year, you grow a bond that extends off the field. When you see these guys almost every day for most of the year, you build relationships and friendships with them. You’re willing to work hard for each other. You feel for your teammate when they had a hard day on the field. And when you each put in the hard work individually to help the team, it’s frustrating to not see it pay off.
But the thing about baseball is that it can all change really quickly. There’s always tomorrow. As a follower of Christ, I trust in God’s plan, whether that’s personal victory, team victory or neither. God works in mysterious ways; His timing is His timing. Sometimes we just have to wait for that.
Amongst the Christ-followers on our team, we’ve been talking about patience — putting in the work while we wait. We’re not supposed to just sit back and wait for God to take care of it all. If God gives you the opportunity to be proactive and find ways to work at what He’s calling you to, you have to be faithful even in the waiting. So that’s what we’re doing — working as hard as we possibly can while we wait for the results.
I experienced this a lot last year as I waited while recovering. It was physically and mentally taxing to try to become healthy again. There are a lot of ups and downs that come with an injury — you’re forced to trust what God is doing and what He is making you wait for. I’m still waiting for some aspects of my game to come back; it’s a process and I have to be patient.
God is molding me through the process, making me grow stronger as a person and more reliant on Him. I’ve seen the progress happening. For my whole life I’ve been able to throw hard and create a challenge for other players with my fastball, but I didn’t really know how to pitch. After surgery, I lost a lot of velocity in my pitching, going from 95 mph to 90.
So in order for me to be successful on the mound, I’ve had to learn how to find pitches that will work. It’s forced me to grow. All of a sudden, if I tried pitching the way I had been for my entire life, it wouldn’t work. With the need to expand my pitching game, I realized this injury was somewhat of a blessing in disguise. I have faith that my velocity will come back, and when it does, I’ll be able to pair it with a new style of pitching, which could make me really successful.
You’re never finished growing. God’s never going to be done molding and shaping you. Be open and obedient to the process He’s calling you to be patient in. Wait on Him because His timing and purpose are complete.
— Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers pitcher
Daniel Norris is a regular contributor to The Increase and provides monthly articles and opinions. Check out Daniel’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/daniel-norris/
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