Summer 2024

The Increase: Better Than Baseball - Adam Wainwright

I love baseball.

It’s the perfect game. And when the umpire invites us to “Play ball!” at the beginning of every game, the whole thing just comes alive for me.

When I was three years old, I wore a Dale Murphy baseball jersey everywhere I went. Whether or not people wanted to hear me talk about baseball, they would hear me anyway. And they’d always hear me talk about how much I wanted to be a Major League baseball player.

It’s like it’s in my DNA.

And as someone who’s a veteran now, I’ve spent much of my life investing in the game of baseball, but baseball has also given me more than I could ever dream.

It’s given me wealth, and I pour that wealth back into helping the helpless and giving a voice to the voiceless.

It’s given me notoriety and fame, and I don’t take that lightly. I work as hard as I can to make known the glorious name of Jesus from the platform I’ve been given.

And even though I have a life that most people would dream of, I need you to hear something loud and clear. I need you to know that baseball is not where I find my fulfillment. Maybe that bears repeating…

Baseball is not where I find my fulfillment.

My only fulfillment is discovered completely and experienced fully because I understand Who my Savior is. Without a relationship with Jesus, a person will live for Himself, gaining the whole world. Without Jesus, that’s really the only place we can ever find fulfillment — in the things we accomplish. But that fulfillment is just a substitute for the real thing, and the people I meet already feel that in their hearts.

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” —Matthew 16:26 (NIV)

What’s better than the fulfillment I’ve found in baseball? That’s easy. The fulfillment I’ve found in being pursued by my Father in Heaven far exceeds my day job’s rewards. The fulfillment I’ve discovered in having someone actually die in my place is better than life itself. And the fulfillment I’ve experienced from having my sins forgiven, and from hearing God sing over me because He’s madly in love with me — it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Baseball is amazing. It’s a gift from God, and there’s never a day when I don’t wake up and thank Him for it.

But God’s grace is greater. It’s more far-reaching than anything else available to any human who’s ever lived.

I encourage you to find your fulfillment in that Name and to regain your soul as a beautiful byproduct.

—Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher

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