When things are going well, it’s sometimes easier to stay positive and be optimistic about the future God has for you. When things aren’t going so well, it takes an effort to see the light at the end of the tunnel, stay positive and think about the big picture.
The game of baseball is such a rollercoaster, filled with ups and downs based solely on how you perform that day on the field. The key for me to stay positive is to think about why it is that I play the game, who it is that brought me to this place, and what His big picture is. At the end of the day, I need to stay grounded in my faith so I can be the best I can be — not only for my own success, but more importantly, for God’s glory. I think about how I can positively impact people with my love for God and purpose in Him. Not only are my teammates watching, but many others are as well. And I’ve seen that oftentimes my actions can speak louder than my words.
People see professional baseball as a great big stage for Christian athletes, which it is, but it’s not the only stage you can use to be bold in your faith. Just because we have a lot of people watching us play ball doesn’t mean we can have more impact for the Kingdom than anyone else in any other profession.
Sometimes it can be hard to keep your perspective on the big picture in a career that is almost completely performance-based. It can be a challenge, either for good or bad, depending on what mindset you choose to take. During the hard times, you still want to make light of what you are doing, making sure your positivity both on and off the field is radiating off you so others can see the unexplainable joy Christ offers. A great way for me to keep perspective when things get tough is to have the backbone of a great community and support system in my life, surrounding myself with people who both believe in me and love me no matter what. These are the ones who help me bounce back and keep my eyes on eternity when things are tough.
It’s also important to keep your eyes on what you did right that day. Sure, some things may not have gone the way you hoped, but if you choose to focus on the things you did right and build from there, you will be much more prone to succeed.
The media can be a great thing or a really hard thing. Like in most performance-based careers, there will be others who have the job of critiquing and narrating your successes and failures. Personally, I choose to not focus on what they say. If I do let myself get caught up in their comments, during the high moments of my career I can easily get ahead of myself and begin to think boastfully. This mindset will take me away from my God-first mentality and into a me-first mindset. When I am successful, I want to give all glory to Him! On the other hand, when I’m having a hard time on the field, the critical eyes and comments of others can stir in me a lack of confidence, instead of me allowing God to be my confidence and strength.
In all of this, I aim to keep my eyes on Christ. He has a perfect plan for me and knows everything that will happen before it does. I trust in His plan for my life and career, more than my own hopes and dreams.
— 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.