Jon Peters had a dream to become the best baseball pitcher ever. It began to take shape when he became the first high school baseball pitcher to ever grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. He had everything going for him. The fame, the pretty girl, the glory and the records.
In 1989, he became the United States’ record holder for the most consecutive wins (fifty-three) by a high school pitcher, a record that still stands today. His high school career ended with a record of fifty-four wins and one loss, along with three consecutive Class 4A State Baseball Championships.
Many say he might be the greatest high school pitcher in Texas history.
After accepting a scholarship to play baseball for Texas A&M, Jon’s dream quickly turned into a nightmare. Four arm surgeries later, his baseball career was over. After months of trying to rehab, Jon walked away from the game and gave up his dream of pitching to become an undergraduate assistant coach at A&M. He assisted in directing the 1993 A&M team to the Southwest Conference Title and a berth in the College World Series. He has also coached at Blinn College and McMurry University.
Now a business development manager with an oil and gas firm in the Houston area, Jon has written a new book called When Life Grabs You by the Baseballs: Finding Happiness in Life’s Changeups. It was released in late March and is a look at how Jon found happiness and peace through a relationship with Jesus Christ after struggling with identity and addiction. The foreword of the book is written by Baseball Hall of Famer John Smoltz.
Below is a an excerpt.
God finally got my attention, though. I’m grateful I listened to God that night in March 2010 when he told me to reach out and tell somebody, and I did. I took action. My personal relationship with him had begun. He placed me on a path toward finding him and filling the emptiness. He filled that emptiness and loneliness with himself. My hard, calloused heart was transformed into one that is softer, more compassionate, and filled with love.
The Bible explains the transformation: “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Each new day is an opportunity to start afresh. What we focus on is our choice. We all make mistakes and do things we wish could be different. Choosing to hang on to regrets, guilt, shame, and resentment only lead down a dark, gloomy, and destructive road. Adopting love, forgiveness, and acceptance can change our hearts. And it can change others.
At the end of the day, we have one question we must answer: What is it that truly matters? The answer is up to you. Is it all about you or is life really about the One who gives us life? That answer can make all the difference.
In a moment of utter despair that had been building for years and years, I found exactly what I had been searching for. It didn’t come from a bottle. It didn’t come from a person. It didn’t come from success or money or any material possession. And it didn’t come from baseball. It came directly from God. And there was nothing required of me other than my acceptance. It had seemed so difficult to do but it turned out to be so easy. It was—and is—the best thing that has ever happened to me.
You can order a copy of Jon’s book and learn about his story by going to his website – jonpeters.org.
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