Clayton Kershaw is the Los Angeles Dodgers’ left-handed pitcher. The Dodgers have a lot of hope resting on the broad shoulders of this young man. He himself has a lot of hope resting in God.
“God gave me the ability to throw a baseball. He chose me for a reason, and I want to honor him with that,” Kershaw says. Number 22 for the Dodgers, Kershaw has been instrumental in the team making it to the World Series playoffs both this year and last.
Christian Athletes Have a Unique Platform
Kershaw calls it a blessing to be able to play baseball every day. He says baseball gives him a platform to interact with people who love the game.
The husband and father of two says his faith really came to fruition in high school, during which time he attended Fellowship for Christian Athletes (FCA) meetings. “Looking back, I realize the speakers we had when I was in FCA had a big impact on my life,” he told FCA Magazine in an interview.
Now, Kershaw speaks to that same FCA group for Christian athletes at Highland Park High School, the school he graduated from in a neighborhood outside Dallas, Texas. He takes this job very seriously, considering himself fortunate that the kids there might actually listen to him. He returns year after year to speak to the group.
In addition to his involvement with FCA, Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, lead the nonprofit organization Kershaw’s Challenge, which serves vulnerable and at-risk children in Los Angeles, Dallas, Zambia and the Dominican Republic. The organization puts on Ping Pong 4 Purpose, which is a competitive ping pong event featuring celebrities, professional athletes, fans and friends. The proceeds from the event go to support the Dream Center and Just Keep Livin’ Foundation’s initiatives in Los Angeles, and International Justice Mission’s initiatives in the Dominican Republic.
For Kershaw, “talking about [faith] is one thing, but living it is the most important.” In a video interview with FCA, Kershaw shared about one of his favorite verses. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” For Kershaw, that means playing baseball for the glory of God, as if he were playing for God and not all the fans who cheer him on or the Dodgers’ owners that sign his paychecks.
Clayton Kershaw Is Just Stewarding This Gift
Kershaw is very intentional with his time and training schedule, as most athletes must be. “You can’t control the talents He gives you, no doubt about that. But you can control the effort you put forth with those talents.”
Whether or not the Dodgers win the World Series is up to God, as far as Kershaw is concerned. “He’s in control of [my life]” Kershaw says. “He brings joy to my life; he brings pain to my life; sorrow to my life, all for a purpose… Instead of trying to figure that all out on my own in my timing, he’s teaching me that I’m on his timing.”
The Dodgers are currently facing the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. As of the release of this article, Boston is leading the series 2-0. The two teams will face each other this evening to play game three.