http://www.boston.com/Boston/names/2011/09/adrian-gonzalez-keeps-the-faith/WCbQDrEFiabp32tvfPuM6O/index.html

Wow it’s been awhile but hopefully as we approach the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, postings will return more consistently.

The baseball offseason has been quite an interesting one, with major trades and acquisitions, surprise signings and releases, and of course, major turnover on the Boston Red Sox team.  I’d like to draw your attention to a particular player, Adrian Gonzalez.

Put aside for a moment the whole “greatest collapse in September” deal and let’s look at the character of Mr. Gonzalez. This is the same Gonzalez who is an all-star, gold glove winner, and has Psalm 27:1 etched on his bats.

 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— 
   whom shall I fear? 
The LORD is the stronghold of my life— 
   of whom shall I be afraid?

This is a man who plays for Boston, a city of volatile fans who can love, and hate you, like no one else can.  So for him to come out in the midst of their failed playoff run and say - 

I’m a firm believer that God has a plan and it wasn’t in his plan for us to move forward,” he said. “God didn’t have it in the cards for us.

must have irked some people.  How much more bold are his words then that the Lord does not serve as a clutch, an excuse to go to when one fails.  That he may be sad, disappointed even at the way the season ended, but that he is also faithful, and knows His Lord as the creator, the planner.

Who knows.  Maybe Mr. Gonzalez was trying to console himself. But I don’t think so.  I think his words are genuine, that he firmly believes his God has a better plan, a better story for him.

So here is my prayer for Mr. Gonzalez as he continues to be a light to his team.  I pray for strength and a bold voice and presence on the Red Sox team.  That he would encourage, affirm and show love and care to his teammates.  I pray for success, so that he would be given an even greater stage to proclaim his faith and glorify the Lord.  I pray for humility in his success, that he would remember where strength comes from.  And I pray that in his struggles, his failings, his shortcomings, that he would know that we have a God who knows us, who calls us by name, who loves us and has already covered us in his mercy and grace. I encourage you all to pray this prayer with me. 

I know I have Jesus, and he’s given me eternal life, and that’s the only thing that means something