I write blog posts like these to help me reflect on what God has taught me. Whenever something happens in my life that has a big impact on me I like to write it down. Writing helps me organize my thoughts on everything I’m reflecting on, but I also like to share my thoughts publicly because by doing so I’ve been able to help other people who have been able to relate to my posts. Back in October I wrote a blog post titled Finding Direction (which you can read here). I didn’t think this at the time I wrote it, but now I can see that Finding Direction was a little different. It was different because instead of writing about my experiences after the fact, I wrote that blog post while I was in the midst of God teaching me a huge lesson.
In the post I talked about how I thought that God was trying to teach me how to slow down, and I was actually spot on. But I didn’t know that God was not done teaching me the lesson of how to slow down. He still wanted to teach me the hard way. And he definitely did.
Back in 2006 I was a scrawny, freckle faced freshman in high school with a huge dream. My dream was to play college baseball. That year I would spend hours upon hours on the computer scouring the internet in search of insight and tips on how to dominate the college sports recruiting process. I had every last detail of the process planned out. One example being the Excell spreadsheet I made full of college baseball programs that comprised my list of “potential schools.”
Pursuing this dream is actually where my love of strength and conditioning was born. I knew that because I was the smallest kid on my team that I needed to utilize the weight room in order to make my dream of playing college baseball a reality, so I spent hundreds of hours researching training websites and magazines. I fell in love with the process of trying to maximize my physical abilities. I would ride my bike up to the high school field and do my speed/agility/baserunning workouts. I would go by myself. No teammates, no music, just alone with my dream. I actually still have the training programs I wrote for myself back in 2007.
When life hits you with a ton of responsibility at once there are good ways you can respond and there are definitely bad ways you can respond. With added responsibility life can certainly become filled with more stress, more anxiety, and more self-doubt. The thing about responsibility is it can come out of nowhere. What once looked like a hill in front of you instantly looks like a mountain, and while you thought you were ready for the hill you’re not sure if you are prepared to climb the mountain.
Perhaps you can relate. You might be the person who often gets overwhelmed with the crazy number of things going on in your life, each one deserving your full attention, but you can sense yourself stretching thin. You feel the anxiousness of wanting to please everyone around you but you doubt your ability to do so. You get to the point where the weight of your stress feels as though it’s crushing you, so the best course of action in your mind is to just give up. Any of this hitting home?
As of today I am officially 26 years of age. How weird is that? I’m like a super adult now… or whatever. I don’t know. I feel old though! Like for real, being 26 is really, really weird. So let’s not think about that right now. Let’s take this time to dissect what year 25 was like for me.
If you are a friend of mine, or someone who has simply followed me from afar via social media, you have probably noticed that the past year has been very eventful for me. I mean, I would hope that’s the impression you got because it sure feels like it was eventful haha! I got a job with the Kansas City Royals. I lived in 3 different states. I went on a ton of hiking/backpacking adventures. Oh, and I vastly improved my Spanish speaking skills.
With so many things happening in year 25 I wanted to sit down and write about my experiences and what I’ve learned. After some thinking I came up with 3 realizations that stuck with me the most, so I’d like to share those with you. Maybe you can relate to them, maybe not, but regardless I hope you enjoy reading about my perspective on this last year.
It was early in the fall semester of my Senior year at Hendrix. A couple of my teammates were running a bible study and I got invited to check it out. I had never gone to a bible study before, and I honestly didn’t know anything about Christianity. The main reason I accepted the invitation to attend that day was because I was told there would be a video shown featuring former Kansas Basketball All-American Wayne Simien. Being a lifelong KU fan I wanted to see what this video was all about. The clip was Wayne’s testimony spoken through the I Am Second platform. I enjoyed the video because it was about a player I grew up cheering for, but there was a part of his testimony that frustrated me.
He stated, “I had played for myself and played for the applause of the crowd for so long that I really had no idea how to compete outside of that, and God had to show me how to do that. He showed me that I could compete and that I could play for his glory. And when that became the motivation of why I stepped on that court, that’s where the freedom came. To where it didn’t matter if I scored 30 points or if I didn’t score any points at all, that if the posture of my heart, the posture of how I lived, the motivation for why I did things was to glorify and honor God, then I knew at the end of the day that he would be pleased with me.”
You can watch the full video below: