Back in 2010, reliever Steve Cishek was confronted by a group of men from his church about inconsistency between his faith and the way he was living his life. Cishek, who made his major league debut with the Florida Marlins the same year, decided he needed to truly commit himself to the Lord after that conversation.
“I did not realize I was sinning in front of an almighty and perfect God,” Cishek told Cru.org in 2015. “My sins became real to me when my friends confronted me. My faith became real when I realized the significance of sin and what Jesus did on the cross.”
Now in his ninth full season in the majors, Cishek has a career 2.66 ERA in 511.2 innings. He served as the Miami Marlins’ closer in 2013 and 2014, recording 73 saves over the two seasons. In December 2017, Cishek signed a two-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. The 32-year-old pitched in a career-high 80 games last year has a 2.75 ERA in 20 appearances this season.
Every time Cishek pitches, he carries a laminated card in his back pocket. On the card is Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (NIV).
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Day one to have this card in my back pocket (pitching in my first game). I’ve had this very card in my pocket since 2011… It has Colossians 3:23 written out as a reminder for me so that after my warm up pitches I can slow down for a moment read it and remember who it is I am to honor and who I am thankful to for allowing me to play this game. It is a privilege after all! #gocubs #Godisgood
“There’s so much pressure in this game,” Cishek told the Daily Herald. “More than you can imagine. When you’re out there and the lights are on, your heart’s pumping, I like to slow down and read it. It helps me put everything in perspective.”
Since that conversation in 2010, Cishek lives life with one main goal.
“Jesus has completely changed my life,” he told Cru. “I do everything now to try to honor God.”
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