“My name looks good on the back of a Ragin Cajun jersey.”
That was the text from my son Josh when he walked into the baseball clubhouse at UL-Lafayette for his first game as a Ragin Cajun and saw that jersey hanging in his locker.
It was one of those make-you-smile snapshots in time. The Ragin Cajun jersey had his name on it and he was about to put that jersey on for the first time.
There’s nothing better than being home. There’s nothing better than being where you’re supposed to be. When you’re there, you know it. It’s familiar. It’s comfortable. It’s invigorating.
There is peace. There is confidence. There is rest. There is joy.
Yes, he had just won a World Series with the top junior college in the nation, LSU-Eunice, but he was realizing a life-long dream of suiting up with the nationally-renowned Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team.
Josh had a storied high school career. He was an All State hitter for four seasons but was recruited as a pitcher for college. He had a number of schools which had invited him to visit, but he knew he wanted to stay close to home and attend either LSU-E or UL-Lafayette. As a result, he didn’t want to visit other schools. There’s something about knowing what you want and going after it. He spent two years at Eunice, became a leader for FCA there and was an integral part of one of the Bengals’ best teams in history, winning a World Series in four games in 2008.
But UL-Lafayette was the top of the mountain, a life-long dream. He wore jersey #21 proudly, though an elbow injury eventually took its toll and cut his career short. A few years later, though, he was back on the field at The Tigue to accept his college diploma after completing his degree. It’s a tradition for baseball players to accept their diplomas on the field on which they played.
But on that spring day in 2010 when he walked into that clubhouse, all was right in the world. Josh was “home”, the pinnacle, the destination of destinations. There was that jersey hanging in the locker, the name “Bailey” proudly embroidered on the back. A take-your-breath moment and certainly a life snapshot.
Jesus reminded us that being “home” would produce an easier road or at least one that would yield peace and rest. In Matthew 11:29-30, he said: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Are you home? Is everything right in your world? Are you experiencing the best God has to offer? Or just existing in a world that is uncomfortable, uneasy and difficult?
Josh knew where he wanted to be. He knew where he had planned to be. He knew where he was supposed to be. That doesn’t always mean there aren’t challenges along the way. However, it does mean those challenges are less daunting and you won’t endure them alone. That part of knowing in your knower — as my dad used to say — is key. You must have the desire, you must know your future and you must go where the peace is.
Desire is not an earthly thing, it’s a heavenly gift. Psalm 37:4 says: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Many people read that to mean He will give you whatever you want. But when you take the entire scripture in context, it more aptly may be interpreted: “Delight in God and he will place (give you) the desires in your heart.” That changes everything!
Napoleon Hill believes desire is tantamount to your dream: “…there is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to possess it.”
Desire is the key. It provides direction and purpose. Without it, all the want to in the world means nothing. Without it, you’ll find yourself taking detour after detour.
Has God placed a desire in your heart? If not, delight yourself in Him and you will soon walk into the clubhouse to find your name etched onto the back a jersey.