This season our team has had its ups and downs. We have a lot of everyday players on the DL, but on the other hand, this has given the younger, newer players a chance to step up their game and compete. It’s been really good. We’re still winning baseball games and even in the thick of things we are toward the top of our division. And even though we don’t have our so-called “Opening Day roster” on the field, it’s been cool to see everyone play a part of the success we’re having.
The lack of starters out there usually would affect a team in a pretty major way, but it hasn’t changed things too much for us. In the last couple of years, we’ve had a number of really good players come up from Triple-A and we’ve also acquired a bunch of guys from trades this year — guys who have really stepped up their game. This year has really shown us all that it’s about embracing the moment and doing your best when you’re called to compete. We don’t have one or two guys doing all the work; it truly has been a team effort.
In baseball, you always face the challenge of feeling like you need to put more pressure on yourself, no matter what role you play on the team. You feel like you need to go beyond what you’re capable of. But when I take a step back, I realize this is a team game. Guys are coming up, ready to go and hungry to play. I believe each guy on our team has really taken full advantage of the change in roster we’ve had. We’ve all been playing really well and the leaders on our team are still supporting and cheering on their teammates.
Baseball shapes out to be one of those funny games in that there are so many levels of play and there are always people who want to be at the level where you are. They’re hungry to get there at some point. I remember being in that spot; you don’t want to see anyone get hurt or do badly, but you also know with time and patience you just might get your chance to shine.
This year I’ve recognized that I need to stay humble, always optimistic, and act as a good leader and teammate to those around me. I can do this with confidence because I know God’s plan will always work out for the best. If I trust where He has placed me, He will provide. And if He needs me to be somewhere else, I will listen and do what He says.
Throughout the season you always face the challenge of having good and bad innings. But staying level-headed throughout it all is the key. You really can’t let yourself get too down or too up. When you have bad moments, you need to push through them and learn from your mistakes. If you listen to the negative thoughts that come from our flesh, or begin second-guessing things instead of accepting what has happened and being able to move on, you will drag yourself down. We can’t allow the thoughts of this world to linger in our minds and cause us to wander from the truths of God.
Reading God’s Word more this year and learning the truths within it has been so incredible for me. Although sometimes our schedule doesn’t make this easy or convenient, when I am able to make time to sit down and really get into the Word, I am changed.
One thing God has really been teaching me lately is to be walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Wherever you choose to walk, you will act accordingly. If you walk in all the good things that the Lord brings, all the negative thoughts and actions of the flesh will fade. But the opposite is also true. If you allow the things of this world to distract you from God, you will be brought down.
We have to choose every day what we are allowing to sink into our hearts and minds. What is determining your choices and actions today?
— Luke Weaver, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.