The World Series matchup this year between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros has proven thus far to be a thrilling competition. Those who follow baseball may know the earned run averages, runs batted in, and a myriad of other stats about the players, but what we may not know about is the deeply-held faith of some of the men on the field.
One such person is Clayton Kershaw, the star pitcher for the Dodgers. At only 29, Kershaw has already had a highly acclaimed career in baseball. He is the youngest pitcher since 1985 to have won the Cy Young Award, and in 2011, he led the National League in victories, ERA, and strikeouts.
But as he explains in an “I am Second” video from 2012, he knows that life is about more than his career success.
He shares a helpful metaphor, comparing pitching to living life. With pitching, he says, rather than hyper-focusing on exactly where the ball needs to go and what you need to do, if you instead “have in the back of your mind where you’re supposed to throw it just say, ‘I’m going to throw it as hard as I can right at that glove’…it’ll be around there more often than not.”
“It’s almost the same in life,” he continues, “the more you try to grip control of your life, the more God’s going to untangle that from you. He’s going to make things go to where you have to rely on him.”
He says that when he was finally able to stop trying to control his own destiny, that was when he was drafted into the Major Leagues. “God was there the whole time. I just didn’t bother to look,” he says.
Even though Kershaw has gone on to be have such a successful career in baseball, he says it is really all about “the legacy you leave off the field. It’s about how many people can I affect through the platform He gave me.”
Kershaw and his wife are living out their faith by being involved in mission work in Africa. They have started to build an orphanage for children who need help and hope.
Whether it’s in Africa or on the pitching mound, Kershaw keeps things in focus. “The prayer I say before I go out there and pitch is not ‘God let me go out there and win today’ or ‘God help me pitch good,’ but ‘God just be with me.’”
“Whether it be pitching on a baseball mound or living my life outside the baseball field, it’s giving up my life to God that really puts my life in control,” he concludes.
The World Series between the Dodgers and the Astros is currently tied at one game apiece. The next contest is set for Friday, October 27, at 8 p.m. EST.