His Demeanor – 3/10/12
Self-diagnosis: the bane of doctors everywhere and a necessary attribute of professional athletes. While it may cause doctors headaches because each patient is convinced they already know what is wrong with them, sometimes the best thing for a player is to take a step back, survey the situation, and make an adjustment. A coach can talk to a kid until he’s blue in the face, but until the kid starts to feel what his body does when he doesn’t make a good pitch, it doesn’t matter. I have heard tons of stories (in other words, it’s happened to me) of coaches going out to a mound because a pitcher can’t throw a strike. He may have even struck the last batter out, but there are times when a pitcher says, “I’ve lost it, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.” I have learned a lot in my career and one of the most important things is how to feel what my body is doing. I might pull off one pitch, but I felt it. So, I know what I want to correct in my next pitch, then I take a deep breath, put that thought in the back of my mind, and execute this next pitch just like I dreamed. That, the art of self-diagnosis, is crucial for most great pitchers. It means that you will never be out of a situation because with just one adjustment you can get right back into your groove and make the pitch you need to make. I haven’t thrown off a mound in a long time. Today was my first bullpen session off a mound. It felt great. I made a few pitches that I didn’t like the feel of, but I felt what I did wrong. So, I took a breath and the next pitch was just like I wanted it. As I prepare for Spring Training, this technique is crucial. I’m not in mid-season form, especially considering that I have been rehabbing from my shoulder injury and as a result I have not thrown much since august of last year. The news is that my arm is feeling great. It feels better as I warm it up and throw harder. I threw off the mound with no pain and no throbbing afterwards. I did my rehab exercises and I’m looking forward to throwing again on Monday. I never thought I would be in this situation right now given how my arm was feeling only 3 months ago. I can’t take it easy now that everything is heading in such a good direction. I have to keep doing my exercises, keep practicing correctly, keep working and doing the things I need to do to prepare for a successful season.
Do you ever wish you could live when Jesus lived? That way you could see what sort of personality came across, what sort of demeanor He lived with. Did He have a timid demeanor? Did He display gentleness? Was He intense? Was He milquetoast that everyone just treated the way they wanted? Did He display confidence? I think we have missed out on a portion of His character. We have the idea of the Father being powerful as in the scene of Him speaking to Moses at the burning bush or displaying himself in a pillar of fire that protected the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptians as they crossed the Red Sea or when He sent down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice on Mount Carmel or … But when it comes to Jesus, we see Him as different, as gentle, as cuddly. “Judas had promised to betray Jesus. So he went to the garden with some Roman soldiers and temple police, who had been sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees. They carried torches, lanterns, and weapons. Jesus already knew everything that was going to happen, but he asked, "Who are you looking for?" They answered, "We are looking for Jesus from Nazareth!" Jesus told them, "I am Jesus!" At once they all backed away and fell to the ground.” John 18:3-6. Jesus seems like someone who is confident and bold. He did not run away when they were searching for Him. He did not shrink back. In John 10:18 Jesus says, “No one takes my life from me. I give it up willingly! I have the power to give it up and the power to receive it back again, just as my Father commanded me to do.” Do you remember the scene in Gladiator when Maximus reveals his identity to the Emperor who tried to kill him? Commodus: How dare you show your back to me! Slave, you will remove your helmet and tell me your name. Maximus: [removes helmet and turns around to face Commodus] My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next. [Commodus trembles in disbelief] I feel like that might be the tone of voice and confidence that Jesus might have had when He declared openly that no man had power over Him. He gave His life willingly. No one took it from Him. It gives me chills. Christ displayed confidence. He knew who He was. Likewise, we need to know who we are. We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings. That is the type of man I want to be, bold. I will not judge others because I am a man just like they are, but I will be confident in who my Father is and the knowledge that He is with me. I don’t want to shrink back from the truth. I do not want to give in to the temptations that surround me in the lockerroom. Even when all the other people around me might be living for themselves and the moment, I want to live for Him. And for that purpose, He will be with us. “So we may say boldly, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13:6