So many times on this blog, I have written about pro athletes who desire to make a difference in the lives of their teammates, living a Christian example and being open with the importance of their faith. Today, I get to share the story of a guy who was influenced by teammates and his wife to live for Christ. Houston Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus has played on teams where he has talked faith in God with some of the guys I have written posts about. In the video below from MLB.com, he mentions by name Albert Pujols (read my post about him here) and Matt Holliday (read my post about him here) from his days with the Cardinals and R.A. Dickey (I wrote a post and a book review on Dickey) who Rasmus played with in Toronto. Each of these guys as well as unnamed others and Rasmus’ wife helped Colby come to realize that Jesus was missing from him life and that following Him was the best decision that he could make.
Rasmus was drafted out of high school by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2005 draft. He made his MLB debut in 2009, making the team out of spring training. After 2 seasons with the Cardinals, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays where he spent 3 full seasons before signing as a free agent with the Astros. He recently passed the 1000 game mark and is a career .243 hitter. He has been pretty successful in the playoffs. He is the first player in Major League Baseball history to have an extra base hit in each of his first 6 postseason games. He is batting .423 in 9 career playoff games.
However, it was some teammates of Rasmus’ that played a role in him coming to faith in God. In this video prepared for Astros Faith Day, Rasmus shares his spiritual journey – growing up attending church but letting baseball and other things to be more important.
Here are my takeaways from Rasmus’ story:
1- Do You Know Christ – This was a question that Lance Berkman asked Rasmus. They were teammates, co-workers and part of the same team. Berkman cared enough about Rasmus to ask this question and by the example that he was living, earned a place for this question to be heard and processed. We can strive to live our life as Christians the same was – being upfront about our faith in God and the importance that it plays in our lives and being willing to ask deep, tough questions that God could use to change the lives of those around us. You can read this article from The Crossing and read the great challenges it gives us for ways that we can positively impact the people around us so they can encounter the true God that is so important to our lives.
2- The Crucial Crutch – A relationship with Jesus is often referred to by skeptics as a “crutch”, something that shows our weakness and our neediness. Check out this video from “Stand To Reason”
I agree with this. A crutch is not a bad thing, especially for the hurting and crippled. In fact, it is needed to get around. It is a life support system. We will all come face to face with the realization that all the things that we do lean on and depend on to help us in life will fail and fall short unless they are God. Only He is faithful and dependable. Other people will fail us, money and possessions will disappear, break, run out, never satisfy. Work and status will not last in this 15-minutes-of-fame world. When we depend on those things, and they let us down, we will fall helplessly down. But God is eternal. His plan is for us to know a full and abundant life here, and an everlasting life with Him after that. Is following Jesus a sign of weakness? Maybe. But as one who is frequently weak and in need of support, that is reassuring, not devastating. Our strength will fail, but we can lean on Him at all times.
3- God is pursuing us – Rasmus’ teammates asked him if he knew Christ. He resisted them at first and tried to live on the fence. He was then traded to a new team. There he met new teammates that were also Christians and they discussed matters of faith with him too. Then his wife became a Christian. And eventually, Colby became a Christian too. It is encouraging to see that God does pursue us. We may turn away from him in one situation but he surfaces again and again to show himself to us and invite us to know Him. Rasmus said in the video that once he chooses to commit to something that he is all in. That is how God is. He is “all in” for each of us. He goes to great lengths so we can see him and when everything else in life lets us down, He is still there loving us and inviting us to the plan he has for us.