This NCS New Canaan blog was first posted June 13, 2010:
Remember Coach Don Nava? For guys new to NCS, Coach Nava is a Christian life fitness coach from California who was up on stage at several NCS retreats inspiring us to get physically fit in some wacky but fun and memorable (I still have nightmares about the shoulder rubbing chains) ways. Don wrote the book “Fit After 40” and has a fitness program called “Totally Fit Life” (http://www.thetotallyfitlife.com/about.html). Well, this is not about Don but about his son Daniel. An amazing story was shared today by David Lane (a brother of Jim Lane and one of the 23+ progeny of Jim Lane, Sr. who came up on stage at the 2009 Retreat).
Daniel Nava was called up on Saturday June 12 by the Red Sox from the Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox farm team for his first major league game. On the first pitch of his first at-bat, Nava hit a Grand Slam, putting the Red Sox ahead of the Phillies 5-2 (Red Sox eventually won 10-2). What makes the story even more amazing is Daniel’s path to the majors. (Here is a YouTube link to watch the hit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf4k8hr1sv4 .)
He was a walk-on at the University of Santa Clara, and was soon cut. To stay with the team, Nava became the equipment manager, which meant doing the team’s laundry at 3 a.m. Nava thought about becoming a coach or a scout, but instead transferred to College of San Mateo, a junior college, for two years. He returned to Santa Clara for his senior year, but was not selected in the 2006 draft. He landed with the Chico Outlaws of the independent Golden Baseball League. There he produced to the point where Baseball America named him the top prospect in independent baseball, which led the Sox to sign him in 2008 for $1
Rick Warren recently did a devotional series on the six phases of faith. Below is how he summarized them at the end. The second phase is “decision”. This was the focus of John Guest’s recent message to NCS New Canaan—it is only after you make a commitment that providence kicks into action (click here to hear John’s message). If you don’t see providence at work in Nava’s story, just consider this excerpt from a press report: “Nava had received a tip from radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione during an interview for the pregame show. Castiglione sat Nava down in the clubhouse and shared a story he learned from Chuck Tanner of the Milwaukee Braves, who hit a home run in his first career at-bat on April 12, 1955. His message: “Swing at the first pitch,” Castiglione said, “because you’ll never get it back.”
What dream has God given to you?
[From Rick Warren’s May 30, 2010 Daily Hope devotional]
Phase 1—Dream: Do I have a dream planted in me by God? If you don’t have a dream, start praying, “God give me your dream.” If you can’t write down the dream God has given you, you need to be praying. If you don’t have a dream, you’re not living, you’re just existing. God placed you on this earth for a purpose.
Phase 2—Decision: Do I need to make a faith-decision that will help that dream become a reality? Some of you have a dream from God, but you haven’t made a decision to follow it. You’re still on the fence. God’s word for you is “Go for it!” Some of you may need to make the decision to give your life to Christ. Some of you may need to make the decision to join a church. Some of you may need to make the decision to get involved in ministry.
Phase 3—Delay: What has caused my dream to be delayed? If your prayer hasn’t been answered, that’s okay. It just means you’re in God’s waiting room. Now is not the time to detour. When things don’t happen on our timetable, we tend to run ahead of God and create detours to make it happen. You may end up making the wrong decision. Wait, wait, and wait for God to work his hand.
Phase 4—Difficulty: What difficulties have I faced waiting for the dream to be fulfilled? You are being tested, but it’s not going to be the last time. You’ll go through many, many tests in life. God says, “I know exactly what you’re going through. I see it. I’m watching. Don’t think I’ve forgotten you—I haven’t.”
Phase 5—Dead End: Have I come to a dead end yet? Some of you are there ready to give up. But the truth is—you’re right where God wants you. You’re getting prepared for deliverance. God’s word for you is “Hang on! Keep on believing! Don’t give up!”
Phase 6—Deliverance: Do I expect and trust God to deliver me? “According to your faith will it be done to you.” (Matthew 9:29 NIV) God is faithful. What he tells us to do, he will do. But it doesn’t happen overnight. You go through the faith-phases of Dream, Decision, Delay, Difficulty, and Dead End . . . and then comes Deliverance.