For those of you who have read the letter that I wrote to a group of parents years ago, you probably noticed a section that dealt with a very unpopular topic...faith and sports.
I have a very strong opinion on this topic, and I have tried to not waiver from it while at the big league level, or at the youth level. Many of you are cringing right now, due to religious baggage that left scars that you haven't quite recovered from. I completely understand this, and I try to keep in mind that I am dealing with people everyday that may have similar experiences.
I do, however, also have an obligation to live up to who I say I am. Since I claim to be a Christian, there comes some responsibility with making that claim. The responsibility that I have is to not be ashamed just because it is no longer politically correct to be vocal about your faith. So, how does this translate in the sports world?
We have all seen the people that are going to wear their emotions and passions on their sleeves and tell everyone, whether they are interested or not. I admire the boldness of people like this, but this is not who I am. I have made a commitment to my players that I will never force my faith down their throat, and never hold them to the same expectations that I hold for myself. I will, however, not cower away from an opportunity to talk with them if they have questions.
It is an honor and a privilege to be able to walk through life with the guys that I am able to coach. Life is not always fair, and troubles are unavoidable. If I am doing my job the way that I believe I should do it, then conversations should come up that are deeper than batting slumps and sore shoulders. When those conversations start, I then have the opportunity to share my experiences, and my experiences almost always have a God component to them. So, should I be a coward and not tell the truth from fear of political incorrectness...? I think not.
I hope that I live my life in a manner that speaks much louder than my voice ever could. I want to share what I believe by how I go about my daily business, and how I treat others. I believe in what St Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."