Who on earth is Wade Gaynor?
If you’re not a die-hard Detriot Tigers fan or haven’t been to many games involving Tiger’s minor league affiliates over the last several years; if you didn’t’ attend Western Kentucky University or you aren’t from Louisville, you probably have no idea. Gaylor had a brief career in the minors from 2009-2015 and has since retired from the game of baseball. So, if you never heard his name before today, you may never hear it again after today either. But you know who knows a lot about Wade Gaynor?
That sounds like a no-brainer, but perhaps it really isn’t. On his website, Gaynor talks about a crisis in the game of baseball. Something he calls the “Ballplayer’s Identity Crisis.” He points out the sad reality that, aside from being baseball players, many players aren’t really sure who they are. He claims that athletes and parents of athletes often allow what they do to define who they are. That may work for a while, but what happens when the stadium lights fade? What happens when a player fails to make it to the next level? What happens when an injury derails a career? What happens when a successful player retires? Gaynor has seen it first hand way too many times. When a person allows what they do to define who they are – and then they stop doing the thing that they’ve always done – they suddenly don’t know who they are any more. Former players often spiral into an identity crisis. They often lose their way. They often turn to alcohol and drugs.
The solution? Know your true identity! Genesis 1:26-27 says this; Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Gaynor explains; You see, what most of these men didn’t (don’t) care to know is their true identity. Who we are is laid out in the first pages of the Bible. Moses wrote these words THOUSANDS of years ago so we would understand that we are men and women created in God’s own image… God has stamped us; He has told us how important we are, and that our identity is through the Living God. We turn to anything we can these days to find ourselves. We allow our gifts God has provided us with to become our identity. We are constantly worshiping the created and not the Creator! You hear people saying all the time, ‘I’m just trying to find myself.’ I want to tell them: ‘we don’t have to search because God already found and claimed us.’ What happens when we place our purpose and self-worth in something or someone, that can change or be taken from us? When that identity is gone, we are left confused and lost, not able to move forward. But we have an identity that cannot be taken away. If value is truly, ‘what someone is willing to pay for an item’ then you should know God sent His only son, Jesus, to die for you and me! This means we’re more valuable than we could possibly imagine.
Whether you’re a baseball player or just a fan; no matter who you are – don’t let what you do define who you are. 1 John 3:1 begins like this; see what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are! That’s your identity! You are beloved child of God! May you find your identity, not in what you do, but in who you are; who God made you to be; how much God considers you to be worth!