After toiling away in baseball’s minor leagues for the better part of eleven seasons, Colorado Rockies’ outfielder Wynton Bernard’s lifetime dream finally came true.
He then promptly called his mother to share the news – and his joy.
“Mom, I’m going to the Major Leagues,” an emotional Bernard said during a FaceTime exchange from Albuquerque. “I’m going Momma. I promise. I’m going.”
The 31-year-old Bernard, who was originally selected by the San Diego Padres in the 35th round of the 2012 MLB draft, then credited his mother’s care for her husband and his father for helping sustain him throughout the long journey.
“Mom, you don’t know how many times – all I think about – you taking care of dad, and it would keep me going,” said a tearful Bernard. “If [you] could go through all of that, then I could do this.”
“All of that” was caring for the outfielder’s stroke-stricken father, who would eventually pass away after an extended illness.
Walter Bernard regularly sacrificed for his family, driving used cars and passing up other luxuries in order that the family could afford to send Bernard to baseball camps.
As a way to pay tribute to his parents, the Rockies’ rookie has small photos of his mom and dad on the bottom of his bats.
Given his upbringing, family example and perseverance, it’s not surprising the outfielder cities Jeremiah 29:11 on his Twitter profile: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
“I never had the thought of not making it,” he told reporters. “I just tried to focus on the positives, and that’s what kept me through.”
But never underestimate the influence of a father on a child’s life.
Reflecting the arduous journey, Bernard shared, “I felt some sort of resentment for baseball, for a full year. Then I said, ‘No, that’s not the way my dad would have wanted this. He wants me to live my dream.’”
Maybe it’s because we all like a good story. But maybe it’s also because we all have hopes and dreams – not necessarily to make the Major Leagues – but perhaps something even more significant. Have you been praying for your child for a very long time? Has someone been praying for you?
What desire has the Lord placed on your heart? Has it been there a long time? Are you still working towards it? Have you ever grown resentful because your progress towards it seems slowed?
Keep going. Keep plugging away.
At the conclusion of that now viral phone call, Wynton’s mother, Janet, reminds him that even if he only stays in the Major Leagues for just one day, he’ll still have made it. Nobody will ever be able to take that away from him.
This is no small thing.
That’s because though the Lord gives us dreams to help us accomplish His purposes, I think He also gives us the struggle on the way to those dreams to help shape and mold us into the man or woman He has made us to be.