Detroit Tiger’s pitcher Daniel Norris is not exactly your typical baseball player.
He doesn’t play for the money but instead strives to keep his life simple. He was described by ESPN in an article called Man in the Van as a quirky soul who lives by his own code and as a “hippie who has never tried drugs.” After signing his first contract, and receiving a $2 million signing bonus, Norris prayed to God that the money didn’t change who he was, made donations to his church and to his parents, and set an $800 a month living allowance for himself. His dream car is his 1978 VW van!
He doesn’t play for the glory but instead strives to to give all the glory to God. In fact, he was baptized while wearing his baseball jersey! He explained his reasoning in an interview with the Christian Chronicle; “God blessed me in my ability to play. I saw it as kind of a way to show God, ‘hey, I see what You’re doing with baseball. This is an opportunity to give You glory.”
Norris is definitely not your typical baseball player. So, who exactly is Daniel Norris according to Daniel Norris? He defined himself in an interview with New London Red like this; “Well, 1st and foremost I am a Christian who doubles as an athlete, not the other way around… I’m passionate about baseball, surfing, and my relationship with God. I think that true passion consists of a real deep desire to always get better at something. To always be in seach of opportunities to improve. Yea, that’s passion.” On his instagram page, he sets his goals in life as follows; “In search of 3 things: 1. Eternal life, 2. The Strike Zone, 3. Good waves. 2 Peter 3:18 – just keep livin’ *dirtbag*”
In 2 Peter 3:18, the Apostle Peter offers some final words to his dear brothers and sisters in Christ. His parting words are “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” Norris recognizes that his purpose in life is to give God glory in all that he does. He explains; “2 Peter 3:18 is my life verse and basically it means to me that everything that comes my way is a gift from God and I always give thanks to Him by turning the glory over to Him.”
That should be the goal for each and every one of us; not to live for our own glory or gain, but to do all things for God. That was Jesus’ goal in His life as well. He could have lived for His own glory. He could have fought to establish an earthly kingdom. He could have allowed His Disciples to worship Him on the Mount of Transfiguration. But instead, He gave up everything that God the Father might be glorified. He showed us that this was His purpose during Holy Week. As Jesus neared the cross, He prayed in Garden of Gethsemane just before being arrested; “I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me in your own presence with the glory that I had with You before the world existed.”
With Jesus and with Daniel Norris, may we all strive to accomplish the work God gives us to do and humbly and graciously use the blessings He gives us to glorify Him!