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Max Walla, Milwaukee Brewers, Baseball

by carmine on April 8, 2013

2nd round pick in the 2009 MLB Draft



I grew up in a family that believed in Jesus, but sports was my church. I had a phenomenal moral basis growing up. My parents were great at teaching me that part. But I was legalistic. I had Christian values, but was never taught a relationship. So I had no relationship with Christ. I had no idea. Athletics were my God. I couldn’t get enough. I was good too. I was always good at whatever I did. I got drafted in the second round out of high school and had everything, I had money, a baseball career opportunity, everything. And when I started playing I struggled. I had never struggled. It was so hard. I felt empty, depressed. I hit so bad my first year, it was terrible. I had no idea what I was doing. And my girlfriend at the time, phenomenal born again Christian, she kept telling me to go to church, that my answers lay in Christ. I had no idea what that meant. I was so empty and had no idea why either. Sports had always been my purpose and passion and since I was struggling, I was empty.  I had never felt that way. From the time when I got drafted, for 7 months, I truly started to realize my emptiness. To the world, I had everything. But in my heart I had nothing, nothing but a gaping hole. Awesome family, awesome career opportunity, awesome girlfriend, but nothing filled that hole. I was blessed to have a guy on my team that was a Christian. So when I started having questions I could come to him for answers, and we had some good talks. What he told me made sense; he suggested reading the book “The Purpose Driven Life”. So I did just that when I got home from the season (that fall). I was tired of emptiness, I was tired of loneliness, and when I realized I couldn’t bear to live on my own anymore, I decided to give my life to Christ.

And since then, no matter how bad my state of mind gets, I always have Christ in my heart to let me know that whatever happens, He’s got me. No matter how bad things get I am always full. Now I live for something bigger than my self. I live my life, and play baseball, to glorify the Kingdom of God. John 3:30, encompasses the meaning of my life on earth. It’s my favorite verse, the first verse that really made sense to me. Being an athlete by trade, I notice a lack of Jesus in that culture every day. It is our job, as the Christian athletes to show people that you don’t have to be a typical partier and crazy flesh driven athlete. My purpose has shifted now, from glorifying myself on the field, to glorifying God. When I walk into the locker room every day I have to make sure I am spiritually prepared for what that day will hold, because if I’m not, I’m not doing my duty as a Christian. I like to remember Colossians 3:23 when I play, because I’m not playing for myself anymore. I’m playing to glorify and increase the Kingdom. It means dying to myself and trying to help people understand that Jesus is the way the truth and the life. John 14:6. It means taking up my cross daily and doing the best I can to live out my faith in Christ, letting the Holy Spirit guide me, because of what Jesus did for me. Galatians 2:20. Even though I have a whole lot of growing and learning to do, It means I have to live, Unashamed. Romans 1:16.

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