By Del Duduit
Clayton Kershaw and I have a lot in common.
I found out some interesting facts about the seven-time MLB All-Star and three-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher recently when his Los Angeles Dodgers visited Ohio during a road trip to Cleveland and Cincinnati.
His favorite meal is fajitas. So is mine. I offered to take him to Toro Loco if he ever gets a chance to come to Portsmouth, Ohio. That place is always hopping and has fantastic Mexican food. He said “Yeah, you got it” to my offer. What are the odds there?
His favorite snack is beef jerky. What better snack in the world is there other than a Slim Jim? If those are not available, then any kind of cookie will do. Once again, I offered to treat him to some of my mother-in-law’s world famous Christmas sugar cookies if he’s ever in Rubyville. “Oh yeah, I’m there,” he said. “I’m a cookie guy.” Again, what are the odds?
His favorite comedy movie is Dumb and Dumber. Mine too. It’s a classic movie that is sooooooo silly it’s hilarious. Who doesn’t love Lloyd’s sophisticated response when Mary told him the odds of the two ending up together are “more like a million to one?” Lloyd confidently countered, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.” What a great line to tell yourself every day for personal reassurance.
His favorite color is green. So is mine. Not much more to say about that one.
And his favorite verse in the Bible is Colossians 3:23. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men.”
I like that one too. He told me if you are working for the Lord, then great things will happen. “It also puts a good perspective on baseball for me,” he said. “I work hard every day at this game, and I also want to work just as hard for God.”
That verse helps to remind us we should not do things to impress others but to please the Lord. “Life is a grind, just like baseball,” Clayton said. “You must work hard at it and realize there is a higher calling if you will listen to God speak.”
Clayton might not be trying to impress others, but he’s doing a good job of it. He has won three Cy Young Awards (best pitcher) to go along with his seven-All-Star appearances. He was named the National League MVP in 2014 and also received The Sporting News Player of The Year Award. Then there is the Roberto Clemente Award for the top humanitarian in baseball, and the list goes on and on and on. In addition, he fired his first no-hitter on June 18, 2014.
Clayton Kershaw career stats through July 18, 2017
I too have had some recognition – not nearly as the magnitude of Clayton’s. The writing and sales awards hold some value to me and I am honored to have won them.
All of these awards are all amazing achievements. But in my eyes, the most impressive thing he spoke about during our interview was helping others and doing work for the Kingdom. He is one of the best pitchers ever in the game today, and here he was telling me he wants to do more work to glorify the Lord.
He has a foundation and helps children all over the world. Although I don’t have one, I can volunteer and try to help a child or someone in need somewhere.
I have always wanted to take a mission trip to Africa and Clayton is the third person I have blogged about who does this. Maybe the Lord is telling me something. Could He be putting me in contact with all of these people for a reason?
“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Romans 15:1
Clayton uses his platform as a baseball player to do admirable things and give back. He told me if he doesn’t do good with what God has blessed him with, he could lose it all any day.
Don’t take today for granted. There is work to do done. Clayton fires a fastball as his profession, but he works in the mission fields as a calling and ministry. I try to write as a ministry, but ultimately I would like to venture overseas and do work in Africa. What are the odds of me ever going?
“Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6
I know the chances are not good for me ever taking that trip anytime soon. But who knows? Maybe I can raise some money and try to save up over the next few years. The odds may be similar to when Mary told Lloyd they were about one in a million. But Lloyd’s profound words will always echo in the back of my mind … “So, you’re telling me there’s a chance.”
“For with God, nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37
What are the odds of you doing something special for the Lord? Do you sit back and watch, or do you get into the game?
Do something for God and others today!
(And NO! I am not comparing Lloyd with God, so don’t even go there:)