Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kyle Lohse Can Teach You Wisdom

photo from Getty Images
Spring Training is quickly approaching and all the teams have overlooked Kyle Lohse at this point. It remains to be seen, but are his 16 wins last season not enough to warrant a return to the big leagues for this 34 year old? I just turned 35 last November and I am far from being washed up. In fact, by the time you finish reading this post I will have sprouted 2 more gray hairs and learned that my feet hurt just a little more than they did last year at this time. But aside from those signs of becoming older more mature, I have gained more wisdom in the past year.

Living for Other's Approval is a Trap
I understand that living for the approval of others is a trap that can't easily be shaken, but one that you have the key to open the door and be released from. With 30 wins and just shy of 400 innings pitched in the last 2 seasons, you'd think that he'd be signed by now. But no, that hasn't transpired as of yet. He is bound by the MLB teams owners and general managers opinions of him. But that doesn't mean that he is not a quality player or quality human being. In fact, he has already overcome tremendous odds by being one of only 50 Native American players in the history of the major leagues.

If Lohse were to forget where he came from, then his perspective could be skewed to worrying about the constant rumors that have permeated this off-season concerning his whereabouts for next season. But, never worry that present circumstances are an indication of future success. Without hard times in our life, we cannot fully develop the character we are intended. If I seek my approval from others, there is no true personal character developed. Rather, I develop and live out a caricature of how others view me.

Seek out Good Friends
I've learned that having good friends that you see on a regular basis are one of the keys to successfully being myself. If I were Lohse, I'd wonder what went wrong. Could it be that people don't like dealing with my agent, Scott Boras? Hmmm...mega-contracts when the economy is still trying to rebound don't make so much sense to owners and general managers that have to balance their budgets, unlike the Federal government. So, what is the key to successful negotiation? Ask for a little more than you think you'll be able to receive and then be happy with what you get. I think that's what my friends do with me as we talk about living life as a Christian. They challenge me towards the ideal, but when I don't live up to their expectations, they continue to love me. Likewise, I challenge others to live whole and take risks as well. Now, when I'm isolated and left to my own, my thoughts tend to focus on the present circumstances (which are rarely great). But when I get to hang out with my friends, then I realize that I have a group of people that will walk with me even when life stinks. The coolest part is that we can have a good time together and remember that we don't have to do this alone.

Take a minute and look at Kyle Lohse's offseason, or Michael Bourn for that matter, and let me know what you can learn in the comments.

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