I love my country. When you watch the World Baseball Classic or other worldwide competitions, it often seems like other nations have a greater sense of pride in their country than we do here in America. I think that just stinks. In my opinion, this country is the greatest in the world; I don’t think it gets any better. If there are any people out there who doubt where my allegiance lies, just pull up my Twitter account and you’ll see me with a red, white, and blue flag on my face.
This country has given me a lot. I was born into a country where I didn’t have to worry about having food, a roof over my head, or clean water. Obviously, there are places in our country that are hurting, but the point is, our problems in the United States are not third-world problems. They’re just not. As Americans, we shouldn’t sit back and take this for granted. We ought to be dang proud of where we live. We ought to be dang proud of our role as Americans to go out into the world to make it a better place.
I love seeing other players take pride in their countries. I love that Yadier Molina has a Puerto Rican flag hanging in his locker. Recently I told Jenny that the first thing I’m going to do when I come home this offseason is put a big ole’ American flag out in our backyard, overlooking the lake.
I’m proud of this country—our history, how far we’ve come, and the people groups we’re made up of. I know we have a lot farther to go to create better unity but we’re getting there. This country was founded on the principles found in the Word of the Lord. The Constitution was written by men who were serving the Lord first. I don’t ever want us to steer away from that.
I think of our world as I do our baseball team. We’re a bunch of people from a bunch of different backgrounds and places, but when something big happens, we become a family. When the St. Louis Cardinals put our boots on for battle, we become a family. As Christians, no matter what country we’re from, who our president is, or what our political beliefs are, we all fall under the same umbrella of serving the Lord.
“Out citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” —Philippians 3:20
I was recently watching Adam LaRoche’s video on The Increase and one thing he said really stuck out to me. Adam said, “What I do has way more impact on my kids than anything I’ll ever say…I have way more impact on my teammates’ lives through how they see me live over what I say in Bible study.” I do believe there are times when we need words, but I also believe we live our lives in a certain way which should totally reflect and point toward the Lord.
There’s a way to play this game where your teammates will look at you with the utmost respect, and there’s a way to compete in this game where even your opponents look at you with the utmost respect. That’s what I’m trying to do.
I’m proud of my team. I’m proud of my country. I’m thankful for where God has placed me and the role He’s given me to serve His Kingdom.
Adam Wainwright is a pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals and a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.