I have just finished reading an autobiography by Josh Hamilton who is a professional baseball player for the Texas Rangers. Some of you might know him from the 2008 All-Star festivities where he hit the most homeruns (28) in a single round of the homerun derby this past summer. Others of you might also know his past of being a childhood and high school baseball phenom turned alcoholic and drug addict in his young twenties after being drafted #1 straight out of high school.
The book itself is his story of climbing to baseball stardom before graduating high school, to succombing to alcohol and drug addiction, to going to whatever limits it took to feed his addiction, to surrendering his life to Christ, and to experiencing the strength to recover and return to baseball stardom by the grace of God. Here a couple quotes taken from the final pages of the book…
“None of this would have been possible withouth my relationship with Christ. I went through eight different drug treatment and rehabilitation clinics, but my personal resurrection did not come from a group session or a therapist’s couch. I know the twelve steps by heart, but my healing did not come from a strict adherence to those principles. Instead, my life changed from hopeless to hope-filled when I turned to God and asked for His help. I recognized my failings and, most importantly, my inability to heal myself.” (pg 246)
Josh also says this to a fan of his that approaches him after a baseball game who is also an addict. “‘When you really want to change your life, you will,’ I told her. ‘Something is going to have to happen in your life for you to get better. You’re going to hit bottom–maybe get arrested, maybe OD. But when you go to meetings, the first thing they talk about is a higher power. They talk about God, and the only way I was able to get better is through Jesus Christ.'” (pg 256)
I don’t share these quotes to speak out against AA or anthing like it, by any means. I think AA is a great program and I know many have found tremendous help through it. I am thankful for how God has used AA to bring healing to people. Moreso, I share these quotes here to point to the importance of Jesus in Josh Hamilton’s recovery. He unashamedly says that Jesus is the most important factor. The book is a great testimoney. It’s hard to believe how deep he traveled into his addiction. However, it is even more remarkable to read about the work of Christ in his recovery and life thereafter.
Go out and get the book if you are interested in hearing more.