Monday, August 17, 2009

Book Notes: Beyond Belief (4/5)

I finished reading Josh Hamilton's personal story called Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back. I really enjoyed the book, but I am not your average reader of Hamilton's story. I am a lifelong Rangers' fan, a big-time baseball fan, and I actually got to see Josh up-close while he was signing autographs at Rangers' spring training back in March. My boys and I have been watching the Rangers all season, and we are rooting for the Rangers to earn a playoff birth this year.

Hamilton's story is gut wrenching - a four year journey through the depths of drug addiction, a trip from being one of the hottest prospects in baseball to someone who couldn't even keep his personal life together. The book is a quick read and brutally honest. It seems like Josh's goal was to be completely transparent about his experience with drugs in order to honor the grace of God at work in his life. As a pastor, I also appreciated how Josh recounted his journey to wholeness - it was a slow, day-by-day process which is still in progress.

I think some people believe that the moment they trust in Jesus as their Savior that all their struggles will immediately go away. They will no longer be tempted to sin and live a perfectly holy life all the rest of their days. I appreciated Josh's honesty in explaining that he was a believer in Jesus even before his days of drug use, but that it wasn't until a time of total surrender to God that he could begin the process of recovery. I think this is reality - personal transformation is a lifelong process that can have days where we are very far from living the life of Christ we seek to live.

Josh is always fun to watch on the field - in fact, I'm watching him bat as I write this blog. When dad and I saw him play in person during spring training, we noted his amazing balance of speed, arm strength, bat work, and amazing power. He is awesome on the field and when he is on his best, he plays the game like few others. I hope he can keep from repeating his stumble that occurred this January and keep his eyes on Christ. His life is a wonderful testimony to the glory and grace of our Savior.


Elizabeth said...

Dad, Karen, and I all enjoyed reading this book, too. I agree it is a fast read, but it also a story that both men and women and all ages will benefit from reading. Nice review of a good book!
Love, Mom

Elizabeth said...

Oh, I forgot, Nanny read it, too, in one day.