“But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, He who formed you: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
Over the past six months I have been on the scouting trail. Long days, long car rides, reports, meetings with prospects, late night games, the list can be endless. With the MLB draft having concluded, it is time to start the entire process over again, turn the page and begin preparing for the 2020 MLB draft.
This begins with summer HS showcases, tournaments and college scout days. As I sit and watch high school and college players perform, I quickly realize how many of these athletes’ identity is wrapped up in the game of baseball they love. If they do well or have a good game, they feel a sense of success.
On the contrary, if they struggle and do not have a good game, they feel like a failure. Their identity and self worth is defined on a baseball diamond. Often times I want to walk up to the young man, gently put my arm around them and say “let’s go get an ice cream and chat a while.” For many of these talented athletes the game of baseball defines who they are as a person, not just what they do.
We are reminded in the verse above that God has great value for us. He created us. He loves us. He formed us. He tells us not to fear. He redeemed us. He has called us by our very own name. We are His!
Regardless of how me may feel, what is said, how well we preform or how many times we fail; God is for us, He is not against us. He loves us, He values us and He see’s great potential in us.
I’m not sure about you, however that is very encouraging! The God who spoke the world into existence loves us and values us to that extent. So if you’re the parent or coach of an athlete, remind them how special they are and that your love for them and God’s love for them is never based on their performance. Keep the main thing the main thing by reminding them the sport they play is just “what” they do … it does not define “who” they are. Now, go have that ice cream!
Kevin Burrell has worked in professional baseball as both a player and MLB scout for the past 38 years, and currently serves on staff with the Chicago White Sox as an area scouting supervisor. Kevin was drafted in the 1st round of the 1981 free agent amateur draft (25th selection overall) by the Boston Red Sox, and played ten years of professional baseball with four different organizations. He and his wife, Valerie, live in Sharpsburg, Ga. with their two children.
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