Perseverance. I’ll be honest. It is not one of my strong suits.
It can sure feel like a kick in the teeth when life hands you blow after blow, even when you’re doing your best to honor God and walk in faith every day.
But, that is precisely what we are called to do. Persevere.
In 1999, after eight years in the minors, my husband retired from professional baseball. Three knee surgeries kept him from his dream of making the big leagues. A gifted outfielder with a solid bat, his knees were just not able to cooperate long enough to give him a chance.
What he did get was the opportunity to learn from the best. He had an audience with some of the best baseball players of the day. That, and he was blessed with an incredible ability to teach. This was something he began to cultivate in the latter years of his career, taking younger players under his wing.
Fast-forward to 2008. After several successful years in sales, the economy tanked, and his job dissolved. He had been giving private hitting lessons on the side. Something told me this was the time to take it up a notch. He had a dream to open an academy. It was like God had placed the opportunity on a silver platter in front of us.
Everything in the world’s eyes said we were crazy. The economy was in the toilet. It was the holidays. People didn't have extra discretionary income to spend on baseball.
He lined up the right people to cross Steve’s path, sent encouragement from numerous places and opened doors only He could. It was time.
With humble beginnings, Steve began his baseball academy, a place where he can instill a love of the game, teach the right way to play and begin to build up the next generation of ball players.
As we sat at dinner one night, talking about how much the academy has grown, he shared something that brought tears to my eyes. He said, “I always wondered why I never made the big leagues. Now, I know why. THIS is what I was supposed to do.”
Isn’t God amazing?