Believers in Baseball – Stories of Faith from the Diamond – Daniel Norris – Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays 2nd Round pick in 2011 Daniel Norris

And now, a look at the future.  As I checked out some stories to pass on to you, I came across this information on Toronto Blue Jays #8 prospect (according to baseballprospectnation.com).  A Left handed pitcher named Daniel Norris.  He was drafted out of high school last year in the second round – he was ranked much higher, but because he had committed to playing college ball at Clemson, he was largely overlooked.  But after the draft, he decided to forego Clemson and go pro right away.  He is spoken of quite highly  – with good stuff, velocity and potential.  And as you can read in this article from the Toronto Sun,he is an outspoken Christ follower and in this article, you can see the personality that he carries and more on his goal to live for God and glorify Him in all Norris does..  And as you can read in this article from the Johnson City Press (his hometown newspaper) that even at 18, he is already enjoying the prospect of being a role model for younger kids.  He spent some time sharing his thoughts and message to a group of middle-schoolers– talking about peer pressure and focusing on what’s important in life.  

I am excited to see what God has in store for this young man.  Here are some things that stuck out as I looked into his story.

1- Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example to the believers…  

Norris talking to middle schoolers in his hometown

This is the theme verse for the youth group I work with, and it is such a challenging verse.  There is not a minimum age to live for God.  I learn a lot about God and the way that he can work in our lives by hearing what these great young people know, understand and learn from reading their Bible.  They do have great insight and there is a lot we can learn from youth today.  We do them a great disservice if we underestimate what they know and how passionate and eager they are to dig deep into the issues of today.  I think it is great that at age 18, Norris is sold out for God and has made living for Him the top priority in his life.  I also think it is great that he is eager to mentor others.  It is amazing what we can learn for ourselves when we are helping others grasp ideas and concepts.  That has been my experience in teaching Sunday School to the 5th and 6th graders.

2- “You can’t be so holy that people don’t want to talk to you”.  This is one of the things that Norris said in the interview, and I think this is important.  We are called to be holy – set apart – for God and his purposes, but one of the main purposes that He has for us is to be ready to tell others about Him wherever we go.  That means that we have to leave any judgements at the dumpster – they have no part in our life – We are instead to see others with the loving eyes of God, and do whatever God calls us to do to give them a chance to meet the real God. I know of well-meaning people of faith who immerse themselves in Christian culture and allow it to dominate the world they live in.  If you don’t have opportunity to rub shoulders with “real people in the real world” and invest in the lives of non-believers, then it may be time to re-evaluate your understanding of what God calls us to do.

Norris on his way to realizing his boyhood dreams

3- “It’s kind of hard to hear when people shoot down your dreams right in front of you” – This world can be a crushing place.  When you invest in the lives of and interact with people, you leave yourself vulnerable to hurt – that is part of what being in relationships brings.  Some people are come from a “realist” perspective where dreams are a nice distraction, but unlikely to ever happen.  Some are just pessimists – their dreams have not been realized, why should yours?  But God can do anything, even things that seem impossible.  He may give us what our heart desires most, or He may alter our desires.  We are challenged to keep living for and honoring Him no matter what happens.  Trust in his plan and watch Him work things out better then you could have imagined.

It may be a few years until we see Daniel Norris in the pros.  I read an estimation that he could be the Jays #3 starter in 2015.  But regardless of what is to come for this young man.  His heart and motivation seem to be focused on God.  I pray that he stands strong for his faith and strong in the face of temptation and attack that are sure to come his way.  May God be honored in his life.

 

christop

5 Comments

  1. Hey Christopher, I just came across your website, what a blessing. I read a secular article on Daniel Norris, which of course did not give “the rest of the story.” It was an article about Daniel living out of his van. Something struck me as I read the article, seeing that Daniel actually had his priorities right. His concern was not for the riches of this world, as is the problem with most athletes today, but he was content with enjoying the simple pleasures of God’s creation which money cannot buy. I thought “this kid must be a believer, and as it turned out, he is. I also found your great website. Keep up the good work, your ministry is invaluable. Blessings in Christ Jesus our Lord,
    Joe
    p.s. go Sox!

    • Thank you for your note of encouragement. I love digging in to these stories and sharing them with others. Keep checking back, invite others to as well. Spread these great stories and celebrate how God is using these athletes to share His message with others. Thank you again for stopping by. I’m glad you found it.

  2. Christop,

    It is funny but I found your story through asking Google if Daniel Norris was a Christian. Kind of a lot like Joe Coleman felt. I’ve been watching him the last couple of years with Detroit and I actually saw him when he pitched for the Lansing Lugnuts in Lansing, Michigan where I am from. It’s strange and unique thing to see how accurate God is when it comes to the Bible. There is a verse in the Bible that says that you will know who they are by the fruits of the spirit. Or at least that’s a short version of it. The moment I saw Daniel Norris pitching with with the Lugnuts I sensed right away he had to be a believer. The more I saw each of his starts with Detroit and his demeanor and attitude through interviews I just had a hunch.

    Thank you for the article and people need to know that there are believers all over the place doing all sorts of jobs and that if you’re a believer they’ll be easy to spot.

    • It is so true that if we are making God a priority in our lives, he shines through us for others to see. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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