Spring training has begun and it’s so good to be back with everyone, stepping back onto the field to play the game we love.
This season, and every season, my focus and challenge is to stay healthy. As an athlete, you understand there will always be ups and downs as far as performance goes, but being apprehended by physical ailments is the worst. Basically, that’s been the story of my career so far. But I want to break that injury streak this season — this is my focus and my prayer.
Going into the offseason, I knew I needed to change up my routine and approach in order to prevent injuries, so I started training in a different way. I’ve been totally invested in developing a whole new program for my body, controlling what I can physically in order to bring myself to the next level. Mentally, I have learned I need to rely on God every moment. I’m praying for God’s peace to cover me through this journey.
One of the greatest encouragements to me has been found in our chaplain, Jeff Totten. Throughout this entire offseason he’s stayed in touch with us players, leading us through a study on the book of Proverbs through text. Every single day of the week we were studying this book, each person taking one day a week to share a snippet from the chapter we were on, as well as how it both challenged and encouraged them.
Proverbs has always been one my favorite books. I think it’s because I love metaphors and this book is filled with them! The short metaphors depicted throughout Proverbs stick with me and I love taking just one small metaphor and diving into it further to discover its meaning and application. During this text study, Tuesdays were my days. Each Tuesday, I would wake up early, read a chapter and give my spiel. It seemed like every time my chapter was about wisdom and understanding, which are two things I pray for all the time. We all need discernment in all situations because at any moment something new could be thrown our way.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” — Proverbs 1:7
This text chain was such a great way to create dialogue with my teammates around the Bible. It’s always encouraging to hear how God uses His Word to speak into people’s lives. And though as teammates we are around each other all the time during the season, we rarely get to know each other on this type of deeper level. We really became locked in spiritually.
This was the first offseason we did a study like this and I was so stoked to kick it off. After we started, I couldn’t believe we didn’t begin this earlier! Instead of taking off at the end of the season and saying to each other, “See you next spring training,” we were able to stay connected and continue living in Christian community even when we were spread out throughout the country.
And when our group finished our study through Proverbs, Jeff and I did the same with the book of Nehemiah because I didn’t want to be done. I couldn’t get enough!
— Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers pitcher