“Repent, therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” – Acts 3:19-20a
Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed has been one of MLB’s top defensive players since entering the league in 2014. Over the past two seasons, he has been given a Gold Glove award—an honor bestowed upon baseball athletes who perform at a high level defensively.
However, Ahmed hasn’t always been successful. In fact, he struggled mightily while playing in the minor leagues especially since he made baseball an “idol.”
It wasn’t until he made a simple decision between the fourth and fifth inning of a game in Mobile, Alabama, that Ahmed’s outlook on life and the game of baseball forever changed.
‘Tired of Doing It My Own Way’
At a recent “Breakfast & Baseball” event at Hillside Community Church in Bristol, Connecticut, Ahmed described in detail the moment he decided to repent of his sins and follow Jesus in the middle of a minor league game.
“The first two at-bats were terrible… I’m like, ‘Here we go again.’ I [had] all this fear and anxiety and worry about my dream being ripped away from me,” Ahmed recalled. “Every day I showed up to the ballpark, I was like, ‘Man, this is going to be my last game. I’m going to fail again. The next day I’m going to get released.”
“In between the fourth and fifth inning, I run out to play shortstop… and for whatever reason, I just stood there, and I didn’t take the two or three ground balls that the infielders take to warm up between innings.”
He continued: “I just turned around. I faced the outfield. I closed my eyes and at that moment right there in the middle of the game… I said, ‘God I’m giving my life to You. I’m tired of doing it my own way. I repent of all my sins.’”
Despite Life’s Up and Downs, ‘I Still Have Jesus’
Ahmed admits that following Jesus doesn’t make him immune to life’s ups and downs. He still goes through disappointing and heartbreaking situations but “everything on the inside has been different.”
“I still go through ups and downs, but I’m not riding this huge roller coaster of extreme highs and extreme lows and having no peace and no joy.”
“My circumstances still stink sometimes,” Ahmed reminded those in attendance. “I had four surgeries in a 13-month period. My wife and I had a miscarriage. Three of my best friends that I played with the last three years have all left my team. I’m dealing with life… We’re not immune to life. But now I have Jesus.”