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Biggest Takeaway From My 2018 Season

Three P’s that can change your life

As I sit in my room, pen and paper in hand, I start brainstorming words that changed my life during the course of this past season. Overwhelmed by all of the random thoughts, I began to categorize all the words into three sections. These three words CHANGED MY LIFE and the direction of my career.

Purpose, Perception, Perseverance

I will never forget the gut-wrenching feeling last year, sitting in our Asst. GM’s office being told I was not good enough to make the team. For the first time in my life, I had hit rock bottom; Depression, disappointment, and stress kicked in overdrive and ruled my mind, heart, and soul.

When I look back at what I now consider one of the BEST things that has ever happened to me, I cannot help but to take away a few learning points.

Let me explain how my story ties in with one of my favorite stories in the bible of all time.

Think of the story of David and Goliath; the one we all hear in Sunday School growing up. God saves the Israelites from the Philistines through this little guy named David.

David, an unqualified man by the world’s definition, faced a giant, Goliath. All of this to free his nation from defeat and save the future of the Israelites. But my whole life, I have missed some serious depth in the story.

When I look more into the details there are several interesting parallels that I found similar to my experiences within the past year.

How so?

Look at how our purpose can drive us. Your purpose is God given. This is such an important factor in doing our daily tasks with joy and excitement. Your purpose can give you the extra stamina to go the extra mile, even when you can barely finish the one you are on. Your purpose is something that regardless of your circumstance in life, your vision and focus are consistent. In an ever changing society, your purpose holds you true to who you really are. It is the one thing that you can use as a map for your life.

David, a protector of sheep, knew his purpose was to be a servant, be obedient to God, and to protect the children of Israel. This purpose drove him to be courageous, bold, and obedient to a challenge that seemed nearly impossible from the outside looking in.

When I look at my life as a whole and everything that I have been through, good or bad, if I would have known my purpose sooner, I would have handled situations differently. The best thing about purpose is it controls your attitude in life. It is the lens that you see all that happens to you. You perceive things differently when you compare it to your overall purpose.

As I am in a hotel room, staring at the walls feeling betrayed and confused, it clicked, I remembered my purpose in life. My failure and setback just became an opportunity. An opportunity to lead, invest, mentor, love, and share the gospel. I was made for this, this is God giving me an opportunity to discover my purpose.

So what is my purpose in life?

Love God.

Love others.

Have FUN!

David knew that everyone around did not support him going into the valley, but he was just being obedient to his father, checking in on his brothers before he committed to fight Goliath. King Saul actually said, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man.” (1 Samuel 17:33). Funny enough, his brothers also taunt him for leaving the sheep, even though he was there for them.

Ignoring all of the naysayers, David looks at this giant as an opportunity to free the Israelites. Everyone, including me, did not think he was qualified to kill this giant (without God doing a miracle).

BUT think about it, he uses his slingshot to kill mobile, agile animals daily from his sheep (lions, tigers and bears). How hard could it be to hit such a large target?  A tall, stationary giant. He was MORE than equipped for this job.

David’s relentless pursuit of his purpose allows him to perceive situations differently than outsiders. And because of this, he wins what is thought to be one of the biggest upsets in the world.

Take a quick look at how his purpose drove his perception:

World View: Youngest and weakest of the 8 children

David View: Strong and prepared for life’s biggest obstacles

World View: Needs training before he steps foot in the battlefield

David View: Already is trained in his experience protecting sheep

World View: Needs to get suited up with gear to go to battle

David View: Trust his work so much, all he needs is a slingshot

World View: Thought he was going out to fight alone

David View: Knew he was going out to fight with God on his side

So how did I perceive things different when I faced my giant? I discovered my God given purpose. This allowed me to view life’s problems on a much smaller scale. (And yes, I still struggled on some days, but I can say I was at a much better place).

I perceived my setback, as a setup. A setup to share the gospel with all the other disappointed people around me.

I perceived my inability to pursue my dream to become a professional baseball player, as an opportunity to pursue others.

I started to perceive my failure in baseball games as an opportunity to grow and learn. Baseball is so unique, you fail 7/10 and you are considered one of the best. How do I view those 7 fails? Do I make excuses? Complain? Or do I take notes, share information? Turning the negative to a positive gives me the edge when I face that pitcher the next time.

When I look back at my story of perseverance, I can’t express enough the significance of finding my purpose. I would have never been in the position to attempt to persevere, if I was not rooted in my purpose.

So I will leave you with this thought:

Jesus’ purpose was to come to this Earth to forgive, to love, to heal, to serve, and to give grace (and much more).

Jesus perceived people and situations differently. He looked at tax collectors, sinners, prostitutes, blind, deaf, and sick differently BECAUSE he knew his purpose in life was to forgive, to love, to  heal, to serve, and to give grace.

Jesus persevered through rebuke, torture, misery, persecution, and suffering because he perceived the situation through a different lens. His lens was filled and rooted with his purpose: forgiveness, loving, healing, serving, and giving grace.

So, all this comes back to YOU and finding your PURPOSE. I challenge you! Get a piece of paper right now, start scratching down:

- What your passionate about? (sports, kids, special needs, families, business)

- What you are good at? (arts, athletic, communication, listening, leading)

- What makes you excited? (helping others or giving)

- What has God been putting on your heart lately?

Discover why you are here. What can you contribute to others that add value to their life?

Pray for direction!

“People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life.” John C. Maxwell

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