Pro Day @ The Rock
Everyone is talking about the Padres Awards Dinner and the Town Hall Meeting, especially all the bloggers. But I went to something last night that’s seemed to go under the radar.
Yesterday was Pro Day at The Rock Church. Which meant that Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Hundley, Jacques Cesaire of the Chargers, and heavyweight champion Chris Byrd were there to share their testimonies.
I hadn’t been to The Rock before, but it was a really good experience. They have five services every Sunday and a congregation of over 12,000, so things were a little crazy.
I was really excited to see Adrian, especially since he’s been traded. I know that he’ll still be around San Diego a lot, but it’s pretty sad that he’s no longer a Padre.
The service was great. Pastor Miles McPherson (a former Charger) was really funny. You could kind of tell that the guys had done this four times before, but they were still really great. Nick was making all sorts of jabs at Adrian because he’s on the Red Sox. McPherson asked Nick how he was going to pitch to Adrian when we meet the Red Sox in June.
“I’ll tell you later, when Adrian’s not listening,” he said. “If he hits two home runs against us, we’re going to have to drill him in the leg.”
“What’s the sign for drilling him?” McPherson asked.
Nick laughed. “I couldn’t show you in church.”
There were a lot of great laughs, but the highlight of the night was hearing these guys’ stories. All of them, being very successful athletes, thought that they had it together, but ultimately realized that it wasn’t about them or their accomplishments, but what God was doing in their lives and what He wanted for them.
Adrian talked about how when he was with the Rangers, he heard about a trade that he thought was going to give him more playing time and a better chance to improve. But instead of the trade helping him, it sent him back down to the minors. He had thought that he was getting somewhere in his career, but then that roadblock was thrown into his way and he had to decide whether he would sit at home and pout or realize that the Lord had a plan.
It was really inspiring to see these big athletes really open their hearts and show us that they’re not the ones who have it together; it’s only because of God working in their lives that they’ve been able to live like they have.
It is so cool to think that these guys are just like me. They’re sinners desperately in need of grace. They’re broken people leaning on the God who heals. They have struggles just like me, but the One who lived the perfect life that we couldn’t and who died the death that we deserve is holding us in His hands. Jesus has got us. And it’s so cool to think that someday, these guys will be in Heaven right next to me, glorifying God together. I truly think of these guys as my brothers. They don’t know who I am, but it doesn’t matter. We’re all a family because of Jesus Christ.
After the service I got to go up to Adrian and Nick and get their autographs and pictures with them. They were so nice, especially considering that they probably signed autographs after every service that day.
All in all, it was a wonderful event. I’m glad I was able to get pictures with the guys, and have Adrian’s signature on a Padres card before he abandons us. I was greatly encouraged, and I hope that The Rock does this again next year.
Thank you for sharing. Great post! That sounds like a really cool event to attend and the message was wonderful. I truly believe these guys have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
It is events like that service at The Rock that brings an athlete closer to the fans. Not because they are sitting only a few feet away, but the memories and adventures shared usually strike a chord somewhere within oyur own life style or situation.
Ball player nowadays have this invisible bubble between them and the fans ususally facilitated by a bad experience, or even an overzealous admirer at one point in their career. But events like this remind you they are human, have flaws and can laugh at themselves if they need to at times.
Great post, and I hate to say it, but you let the cat out of the bag now.
Expect there to be bnigger crowds now that you have alerted a second tier of fans and bloggers about such a great event…
Also congrats on making the Top 5 in the January MLBlogs “Latest Leader’s List”.