Matt Holliday is a regular contributor of The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.
Holidays look different for a baseball player and his family; I’m used to celebrating Easter in a way different from most. Growing up with a dad who was a baseball coach, I spent most of my childhood Easters on the baseball field. I remember looking forward to finding my baseball card and Cadbury Egg Easter basket then hunting for Easter eggs hidden on the ball field. And like me, my kids are accustomed to a baseball Easter celebration.
With both a practice and a game on Easter day, we aren’t able to attend a morning church service, but we do plan to go to a Sunday evening service at our church this year. As a family, we make sure to talk about what this day really means, remembering that it’s not about a big, furry bunny, it’s about something so much more meaningful. For us the priority is to celebrate what Easter is all about: The death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
When you’re a kid, you might kind of understand it—I like to think my kids are starting to grasp the deeper meaning of Easter—but when you get older and are able to really understand the depth of it all, it changes your life. The reality of Jesus defeating death and coming out of the tomb has a lot more meaning than the Easter that most people think of each year. When your focus is on the risen Savior, your view of the holiday really changes.
Each year my gratitude for what Christ has done for me continues to grow. As I try to help my four kids (ages 12-2) understand the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I find myself growing in my own comprehension of it. As I teach my kids these basic yet powerful truths from the Gospel, I’m constantly reminded of what’s really important. Focusing on childlike faith in God is a continual sanctification process, bringing me closer and closer to Him.
“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as first fruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” —2 Thessalonians 2:13
As we do life together as a family, my kids are constantly watching my wife and me—it’s great accountability. I need to always remember that I am representing Jesus to them—I’m a visual and daily witness to them of the Father. When I do screw up, as we all do, I make sure to ask them for forgiveness, then I take the opportunity to talk to them about how everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how we handle them that’s important. We often need to repent to our Father but we then also need to change our behavior.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” —Romans 12:2
Being on the field or on the road during holidays is just part of the job description of a baseball player. My family and I do what we can to be together during these times whether it’s during a birthday, the Fourth of July, or Easter. We look forward to when I retire and we can grill up some BBQ, watch fireworks, and go to parades on days like Independence Day, but for now we’re thankful for where we are, recognizing that we’re right where God wants us. As we enter into our 13th year in pro baseball, we see so many opportunities to serve and minister to others in this field and we don’t want to miss out on that.
Check out Matt’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/mattholliday/
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