Expectations can be both positive and negative. For a baseball player, they mean that people see your skill set and because of that, have a belief that you could be a superstar. What a boost that could be, I mean who doesn’t like it when people go on and on about how talented you are and what level you could achieve. But then the negative comes along when things don’t go smoothly, when bumps in the road derail the forward momentum. Terms like “star-in-the-making” and “can’t-miss” are used to discribe you.
Kaleb Cowart knows about expectations. He was the 2010 National High School Player of the Year. He was a first round draft pick in the the 2010 MLB draft (18th overall). As a first round draft pick, there are expectations of a quick journey through the minor leagues and an above-average-to-star level player that contributes for years to come. So how has Cowart’s journey gone? He has played in 19 games so far this season, and 53 over the past 2 seasons. He is hitting a little above .200 with a couple home runs and 8 rbi. He has seen time at first, second and third base.
For Cowart, he has not lived up to those expectations, but as you can read in this article from desertnews.com, Kaleb did well in the field, but struggled at the plate. The article talks about last season when Cowart had a great season with the Salt Lake City Bees. It was refreshing to see the pieces falling into place after more struggles than expected. Cowart shared that the key to his life and baseball career is his faith in God. He says “I think we’re all here for a reason, And I’ve been blessed to be able to play baseball. If I can bring just one person to Christ, whatever I do will be worth it.”
You can also check out this post on the forum freedomcardboard.com where Cowart again talks about his faith and how he became a Christian at age 9.
And now as September is here and the Los Angeles Angels are looking at prospects to see what the future might hold, Cowart is getting another look. I am hoping that it is a successful final month for him. But more than that, I am excited to see how God will use him and his desire to point others to God.
Here are my takeaways from Cowart’s story:
I talked about the expectations that exist for top round draft picks in sport. I imagine that with the pressure and the microscope you would be under, it must be challenging to live up to those expectations. And even those of us who are not elite athletes, have expectations placed on us that are harder some days to live up to than others. And so often, when we don’t live up to the expectations placed on us, the criticism is harsh. It is refreshing then to know that even though God’s standards of perfection are real – all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. He didn’t expect us to be perfect and flawless. He instead made an alternate plan to meet us wherever we are and offer us freedom, love and acceptance.
2- Our Purpose –
Cowart said in a couple of articles that I read that he knows his purpose is to positively affect the world by living for God and loving others. When asked what advice he would give to his fans, he answered “Keep God first in your life no matter where life takes you. We spend so much of our life trying to discover what our purpose is. We chase money, fame, status and success. We strive to meet the expectations of others and that can leave us with feelings of emptiness or dissatisfaction. Jesus summarized the purpose for life in Matthew 22. In verses 37-40 when asked what the greatest commandment is, He says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
There it is, all the law and the words that the prophets shared to guide people in their lives can be summed up by “Love God and Love others.” That is our purpose in this life. Let’s live that out today!