THE INCREASE: New Year, New Plan - Luke Weaver

My hope for the new year is that I would make the team right out of camp and be able to play at the big league level for the whole year. That being said, I don’t try to set too many lofty goals for myself. Instead, I try to go with the flow and follow the Lord’s leading in my career.

I don’t want to set my own standards, I want to go by God’s standards. I’ve realized that the moment I start setting goals for myself, I begin to get a big head once I meet them. I start to feel really good about myself and immediately want to get to the next level. There’s another goal to be set and met.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bad thing to set goals to achieve and work hard toward them. But I know that personally, when I do that, I focus on my own strength and achievements instead of what God is doing in my life.

However, in my walk with the Lord, I do set goals. This year, I am setting the goal to read the entire Bible in a year. I want to create and sustain a daily routine of diving into God’s Word and letting it transform my heart and mind. I’ve never done this 365 days in a year before and I would love to be able to read the Bible cover to cover. It’s a difficult task for me, but an attainable one.

I’ve tried to do this in years past, and even started off on a good path, but there are always things that distract me or stand in the way. I let a few days slip by and then a few more and before I know it, I’ve given up. I’ve been convicted this year to keep it up and make time every single day to spend with God. I want to show Him how much He means to me.

Knowing that some of my teammates and friends have done this, and annually do this, is inspiring to me. I love hearing them share what they’re learning and seeing how excited they get about starting it again in the new year. One of my mentors has read the Bible cover to cover for more than 20 years! And he never tires of doing it. Each time we come to the Word, we discover new truths we might have missed the time before. And as we continue to pour into these truths, we can reflect on what God has spoken to us through that passage in the past. It’s a great way to reevaluate your own faith and work on areas of growth.

There’s always something to keep me from reading God’s word: meetings, events, practice, TV shows. I’ve had great intentions of starting my day off in God’s Word, and then become distracted. But when I do take the time in the morning, before I do anything else, to read the Bible, my day’s transformed. By setting up my day in truth, I feel refreshed and balanced. I encounter less stress and gain more confidence because I’ve been armed with the strength and presence of the Almighty. I always learn something new and then I’m encouraged to start the next day in the same way.

I was motivated when I spoke with my teammate, Jaime Garcia, who said that he opens God’s Word first thing in the morning as he gets his morning coffee. And on an off day, when many of his teammates are spending the day on the golf course, he has a different game plan. Jaime is often using that time to get an in-depth study of the Word.

I’m excited for the new year, starting off on the right foot — in God’s Word and surrounded by His truth. Will you join me?

“I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” — Psalm 119:11

Luke Weaver, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher

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