This devotional by Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy is featured in The Increase’s 21-Day YouVersion Devotional. Start this plan to hear more articles by Pro Athletes.
There are moments in our lives when everything comes into focus – moments when we put on new lenses, and when our vision becomes crystal clear. During these times, there are both certain invitations we believe in and turn toward as a result, and certain other invitations we stand against and turn away from as a result. In life’s biggest decisions (whether they feel big at the time or not), both a good and a bad invitation always seem to lie before us, and it quickly becomes our decision to choose.
Before I signed with the Washington Nationals, I had played my entire career with the New York Mets. As a member of the Mets, a player learns to live with the spotlight that’s shined on him by the New York media. He learns to navigate the weight and the expectations that are placed on him in the middle of such a significant media market.
Tori, my wife, had become pregnant, and even though we hadn’t planned the timing of the pregnancy (as if that can ever really happen with any certainty), we were both extremely excited about the birth of our first child – a son, whom we’d name Noah.
It didn’t take very long, however, to realize that Noah might be born on Opening Day of 2014.
There was no question in my mind about where my exact location would be when our son was born, and it would most definitely not be on a baseball field. It would be in a hospital of our choosing, with my wife and extended family.
And sure enough on Opening Day 2014, Noah was born. I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal to leave the team and just be the nervous dad in the delivery room. But when I arrived in Florida to see Tori, I quickly discovered that a few members of both the New York media and the national media had begun to openly question our decision for me to miss Opening Day.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” —Galatians 1:10
That’s really what it all comes down to, right?
And I love the clear and distinct and wide line that Paul draws here. Some things in the Bible are meant to be left with some mystery, but not this one. Paul is saying that a man or a woman cannot both please the whims and the desires of other people and, at the same time, serve Christ. He’s saying exactly what I felt in my heart about that day – that in life’s biggest decisions, both a good and a bad invitation always seem to lie before us, and it becomes our decision to accept and walk into the right invitation, the right direction.
I love what Tori says about the birth of Noah. She tells anyone who will listen, “I told Daniel that, one day looking back on Noah’s birth, he’ll either be able to tell his son that he missed Opening Day so that he could be at the hospital when he was born, or that he got a double off of Strasburg that day, and that somehow Noah might understand.”
What decision, big or small, is God asking you to make in spite of what the world’s reactions might be?
Tori and I tell the story at TheIncrease.com, and we’d love to share it with you there, where you can hear it from our perspective.
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