It's no secret that we are Texas Ranger fans around here.
It happens to be that our 8 year old is a huge Josh Hamilton fan.
As parents it is important to us not to elevate celebrities in our children's minds. At the same time, we have been ok with Josh as Dale's favorite Ranger. He's a family man, a hard player, and an out-spoken born again believer in Jesus.
He is also a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.
This is a fact that our 8 year old knows nothing about. Right now I am thankful for that, because I would hate to explain that his favorite baseball player is admitting to a relapse.
Was this stupid? Yes.
Is it disappointing? Yes.
Are we going to try to sway Dale away from being a Josh Hamilton fan? No.
The truth is, I hate it for Josh Hamilton. I hate that he struggles so much with such a problem. We all have our own struggles. I'm thankful that my sins, my mistakes, my relapses into those things I hate to do aren't public knowledge.
Sure, he chooses to be in the public eye. And maybe it is that public eye that has helped hold him accountable. He is a strong witness for God's love, forgiveness, and gift of salvation. I pray that his witness isn't damaged by this relapse, but instead is made stronger.
I have to say, after watching the 12 minute video linked to above, my respect for the man is actually increased. He speaks with honesty and humility. He asks for prayers, and he has mine.
When the time comes Dale will know about his hero's mistakes. Josh Hamilton isn't a hero for "overcoming" an addiction. He is admirable for humbly giving God the glory in all things.
The part I think is the coolest? Josh Hamilton may be a celebrity on this earth. The kind of person many of us recognize but never meet. But guess what? I'll be spending eternity with Josh Hamilton. Along with a whole lot of other people, we'll be praising Jesus together, forever. Will you be there?