This is the 15th entry in my series on Christians in Major League Baseball. Today, we journey down to the Gulf Coast of Florida and meet with Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have written about a few utility men and the role they are playing to help out their team in whatever way they can. Today, we talk about another in Ben Zobrist. In 2009, he played 8 different positions. Last year, he played 6, and so far this year, he has played only 2. He played well enough that they needed to keep getting him in the lineup, and eventually, he settled into a regular position.
He has become a vital part of the Rays lineup and an easy guy to cheer for. I watched him play earlier this year in a series here in Minnesota where he owned the Twins to the tune of 8 for 14 in the series with 2 home runs and 13 rbi in 3 games.
One thing that I found interesting is that our stories are similar. I’ll share more on that in a moment. First, check out his story below as prepared by Idols Aside Ministry, a non-profit organization that uses sports to draw people in, and uses the platform that sports provides, to share God’s love with others. Click on the link above to see their site and what they do.
I mentioned that our stories are similar. I first came the point of wanting to be sure that I would go to heaven at a young age too. For me, it was on the day that an assassination attempt was made on then US President Ronald Reagan. I remember asking my mom if the President was going to die, and if he did, would he be in heaven? She told me that if he knew Jesus personally he would be, but if he didn’t have that relationship with God, he wouldn’t be in heaven. That was scary for me. I mean if the President couldn’t get an automatic pass to heaven, how could I be sure? (I had a lot to learn) Luckily, there is assurance! God promises this in the Bible.
If we confess with our mouth ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, we will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
Zobrist uses his position as a professional athlete and role model to talk about the importance of his relationship with God. He knows that he has a responsibility to represent Christ in all he does, even to people that he may never meet face to face.
I really like when he said he needs to take this responsibility seriously. And not just to his teammates and fans, but also taking in helping his family grow in their relationship with God. And like he uses his talents on the baseball field, he speaks of the importance of his wife and children being able to use their talents to honor him, as well. And they are doing just that. Zobrist’s wife Julianna is a Christian singer. Check out her myspace page here to read more about her, and to hear some samples of her music.
As Christians, Jesus calls us to represent Him with our lives. We reflect God in more ways and to more people than we can imagine. Does what we say and do demonstrate what we claim to believe? Zobrist’s story reminds us to be humble, true to our faith, and ready to help others to know Christ, as we grow in our own faith.