Finding God on the Field

When Jamie Mosley signed to play college baseball for the Union University Bulldogs during the summer of 1997, he had no idea that his love for a game would set events in motion that would change his life forever.

Signed as a catcher (heís now an outfielder), Mosleyís time on the Union campus brought him to a realization that something important was missing in his life.

"My freshman year was probably one of the hardest times of my life," says Mosley, a native of Paris, Tenn. "I was really focused on doing my own thing, especially when it came to baseball." Though he had been in church all of his life, Mosley had never given his life to Christ, though he called himself a Christian even when his life reflected otherwise. "I had never seen that I needed to put my trust in someone other than myself, and I really didnít understand the reason that Christ had come to earth."

Through his experiences at Union, Godís began to deal with the young ballplayer. Mosley soon realized that his self-centered lifestyle was the cause of the unhappiness that was flooding his life and that only Jesus Christ could provide relief for him. At the beginning of his sophomore year, he completely gave his life to Christ.

At that point, Mosley says, God began to work in his life by molding him for His ultimate plan.

"People tend to think that everything will be grand once a person is a Christian but that just isnít the case," says Mosley. "When the Holy Spirit begins to alter the course of a personís life to one that is not in rebellion, it is a very painful process." Though it is a process that Mosley believes will never be completed in his lifetime, he is comforted by the assurance that "God has promised that he will finish the work that He has started." (Philippians 1:6)

A turning point came in his life the summer prior to his senior season, when Mosley, two of his teammates and several other Union students traveled on a 10-day mission trip to Uruguay where his group used baseball as an avenue to share the gospel. It was his first mission trip of any kind, and Mosley was unsure about what to expect or to think. As little as two months prior to leaving for Uruguay, Mosley had intentions of pursuing a career as a CPA. In fact, he had already set up an internship for that same summer. But during those two months prior to the trip, God began to reveal His plan for Mosley.

The mission group spent time speaking in and churches. When a church allowed the group to lead a full service, they selected Mosley as the one to bring the message. After that night, people began to encourage him to pursue the ministry. Staying in a room by himself with no distractions, it was there in Uruguay that Mosley began to be moved by Godís presence and saw how God was answering his prayers. Then and there, Mosley took a close look at the direction of his life and what God had in store for him. As he sat and began to take in all that had happened over the past two months, he made a commitment that his daily life would be just as focused on God as it had been on the trip.

The truth, says Mosley, that God revealed while he was in Uruguay was that his relationship with Christ and playing baseball are not necessarily in conflict with one another. In the past, he had let baseball become his idol and not Christ. "That was the first time that I truly understood how baseball could be played to His glory," says Mosley. "There was no reason that my time on the field in the United States should not point to Christ."

Once back from Uruguay, he found his approach to baseball at Union had changed. Mosley found it difficult to keep putting in the long hours that baseball requires when "compared to things of God, baseball is nothing." However, he also knew that he was a part of the Union baseball team for a reason.

In the fall of his senior season, Mosley and others led a team Bible study and had good attendance. He also realized that he could minister to his teammates on the field by the way he handled success, as well as adversity, and to be one who leads by example on and off the field.

"The main thrust of our efforts came in asking the opposing team to pray with us following each game," Explains Mosley. "It was a time for us to display that we believed God to answer prayer and to lift up the ones that we would have never encountered except for on the ball field." Mosley believes that he "was not just to come to Union to be blessed, but also to seek to bless others." Mosleyís goal for his senior season was to glorify God by being an example of the Gospel. "It is my prayer that I was able to display to others that there is so much more to life and to true commitment than baseball."

Even as he set right the priorities in his life, Mosley was a large part of the 2001 season for the Union Bulldogs. Mosley played in 45 of 57 games, while starting 35 times, hitting five homeruns and tallying 33 runs batted in. He finished fifth in both categories, on a team that finished second in the TranSouth Conference regular season and tournament. He also participated in his third NAIA Region XI Tournament in four years.

While not on the diamond, Mosley spent the past 12 months serving as a pastoral intern at Woodland Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn. Graduating this past May with a 3.9 grade point average while earning a major in mathematics and a minor in accounting, Mosley is remaining open to God as he begins his seminary studies with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary through the seminaryís extension program at Union. He will remain as a pastoral intern at Woodland Baptist while he takes seminary classes.

Looking back, Jamie knows that baseball has been a large part of his life and doesnít have any regrets of playing the game. However, his desire is to help others see how simple it is for something like sports to become an idol in a personís life. After finishing his career at Union, his prayer is, "that those of us who are going to claim the name of Christ would evidence that even while competing. As the Apostle Paul, I hope that we as athletes will come to face the challenge of Romans 12:1 and worship God even as we compete."

 


Media Contact:  Steven Aldridge
Phone:  (901) 661-5027
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