MLB infielder for the Colorado Rockies, originally from Huntington Beach, California, Tim Lopes, speaks with Heaven to the Yeah grace ambassador, Christian Taylor, on how he came to know God and his faith for himself and how he lives out God’s word within his sport.
Growing up, Lopes was in church every Sunday. “I knew all the right answers, but I only had a surface level view of the Bible—never a firm relationship with Jesus.” Lopes goes on to describe his lukewarm walk with the Lord, that was until he his high school. When he got to high school, his coach approached him and said that they should do a Bible Study. Lopes, knowing that it would be a good idea, agreed, not knowing his world would change completely as he found himself diving into God’s word and came to know God as a person, not just an idea. Coming to know God opened more doors for Lopes and threw him into new communities where his faith was both challenged and strengthened, especially in the baseball world.
God is always present, even in the community times when it may be hard to see him. “You have to have full dependence on the Lord. As you meet people from all walks of life… Jesus may not be present in their lives, so you have to make him present.” On this journey, constantly keeping God present in his life, Lopes says that he is slowly starting to figure out why he is where he is and why he is playing baseball: “I have to ask myself, am I playing for my glory or His glory?”
With this question in mind, and his wife at his side, Lopes sees the challenges, but accepts them as God’s doing when he balances his humility with his pride in his successes. “My wife will check me every time. She will say ‘you are a Christian that just so happens to play baseball.’” Lopes continues as he discusses overcoming his emptiness with Jesus in his life, allowing him to be humble and less prideful. “The big leagues was everything I ever wanted. After [my first year playing in the big leagues], I felt that I wasn’t full; the answer became evident: Jesus is enough and all we need in our lives.” When we have Jesus in our lives and keep him at the forefront of our minds and hearts, we will never be without his love or his Grace.
“When I think about God’s Grace, it is everything. It is this free gift that we don’t deserve… I used to be a Grace abuser, but my life didn’t change. I wasn’t living for Him; I was more a fan of Jesus rather than a follower, but once you let that Grace sink into your heart, you learn to walk beside Him.” God will endlessly give his love and his Grace, we merely have to accept it and Him into our hearts and live with Him every day. It is through this Grace and faith that we can overcome challenges, difficulties, pandemics.
When navigating through the pandemic, Lopes’ faith played right alongside it. “When something crazy happens that no one expects, when things start to shift before your eyes, you realize that your faith is real and that you need to grab on to Jesus now, for he tells us to be prepared, but we never know when something will happen.” And with the unknown comes the world of parenting, in which Lopes has discovered being a father has taken a large part of his heart.
While Lopes holds many passions in his life, like going to the beach, going fishing, being outdoors, and of course, having a life revolve around baseball, he says “now that I am a father and a husband, I dedicate a lot of my time to my family. Being a father is my favorite thing to do.”
Before Lopes’ time with Taylor concluded, he was asked to harness is fatherly advice and provide words of encouragement to those who may be watching, listening, or reading. In this moment Lopes said, “I have never heard of anyone giving their life to Jesus and regretting it. Once you truly accept Jesus into your heart, your life will be changed; he gives you a purpose.”
The Heaven to the Yeah team thanks Tim Lopes for his time and openness to share his story with us. We pray for constant health, mental and physical, for him and his family.