“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
– John 15:16 (ESV)
Reading Bobby Richardson’ book, Impact Player, Leaving a Lasting Legacy On & Off the Field, has given me the chance to travel back in time. The journey is filled with simple memories of childhood and a growing love for the game of baseball. In 1960, my grandfather gave the family an amazing gift, our first television. On Saturdays, my baseball education began when I discovered something called The Game of the Week. More times than not, the New York Yankees were playing and I immediately became a Yankee fan. Bobby Richardson, from my home state of South Carolina, played second base. The Yankees of that era continued to be one of the great dynasties in baseball history. Through the years, my respect for Richardson grew, because I came to realize he was the glue that held those teams together. Richardson was an outstanding baseball player, but his greatest claim to fame is the way he lives his life. Richardson says, “my aim in both baseball and life has been simple: to make an impact by being used by God in the lives of others.”
We can easily become discouraged in our Christian walk. Jesus knew this and reminded His disciples that not only had He chosen them, but He would give them whatever they needed to get the job done. Like Richardson, Jesus is calling each of us to be “impact players” for the faith. This is a long, difficult journey that takes time, but can produce wonderful fruit. It’s important to remember however, that we can’t do the job in our own strength. While God does His part, we must provide the persistence, patience and prayer.
Heavenly Father, thank You for providing everything I need to be an impact player for You. Give me the strength for the journey. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.