Carter's choose to write his speech on wisdom this year based on what he wants to be when he grows up - a professional baseball player. One of our dear girls goes to church with Josh Willingham and helped Carter get questions to Josh. He did most of the writing himself. I was very proud!
My mom and dad are always telling me that we need Christians everywhere in today’s world. We need Christian doctors, lawyers, presidents, mayors and teachers. So, when I grow up, I want to be a Christian professional baseball player. Proverbs 3:13 says, “Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.” I want to be happy in the job I choose, so according to this verse, I need to find wisdom. Wisdom comes from God’s word. To be wise, I read the Bible, do a daily devotional with my family and go to church so I can learn what God wants me to do. To find understanding about life as a Christian professional baseball player, I need to talk to someone who is just that to understand what the job is like. I chose to talk with Josh Willingham who is a professional baseball player for the Minnesota Twins. Josh is also a member of the church who lives in Florence, Alabama.
I wanted to know if it is easy to be a pro baseball player while being a Christian. He said it is very difficult at times because most of the people he works with daily aren’t Christians. In Proverbs 6:12-19, a wicked man is described. The wicked man uses ugly words in his speech, he runs towards evil and he is proud. Josh probably around guys like this who try to get him to act this way as well. However, I am also told in Proverbs 6:20-22 that if I follow God’s commands He will lead me, keep me and speak with me. No matter what I decide to become, I will be around wicked men, but if I follow God’s commands He will guide me through it.
Over and over in Proverbs it tells us to keep God’s commands “as a chain around our neck” and “as an ornament on our head.” So, I asked Josh if a certain Bible verse helped him in his career. He said James 1:2-4. It says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing.” The wisdom that comes from this verse is that in any job I will be tempted. People will try to test my faith in God. But, if I am faithful through the temptations, God will guide me through and I will lack nothing.
I also asked Josh what Proverbs 3:5-6 meant to him. This verse says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” He said for me to include God in every decision and aspect of my life. He told me that it is easy to try to do everything on your own and forget God. However, if he trust in Him and include Him in our decisions, He will direct our life. Along with this he told me it was hard to be a baseball player and balance church along with playing ball. He does not get to attend services regularly. He is able to watch his home congregation online sometimes and a chaplain comes for those that want to study the Bible. Josh makes it a priority to study and pray a lot by himself so his relationship with God can grow. Before every game, he goes to centerfield and prays as his warm up time.
To me, Josh Willingham is a great role model because he is doing what he loves and living for His God whom he loves. I also like him because he says, “Roll Tide!” Being a Christian professional baseball player is harder than you think. However, Josh has given me the understanding to continue to find wisdom from God, trust Him with all my heart, acknowledge Him in all I do and He will direct my paths!