In January of 2010, Grant Desme shocked the baseball world by announcing his retirement from the game. Only 23 at the time, the second-round draft choice for the Oakland A’s, was on the verge of playing in the Major Leagues. But Desme left behind a sizable baseball contract to embrace a life of simplicity in order to become Brother Matthew at St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California.
In a 2013 interview, a reporter asked Desme, “Do you miss playing baseball?” Desme said that he still enjoys playing baseball with his friends, but then he added,
“I still don’t miss playing professionally, but I’ve come to enjoy the game of baseball itself more. When I let go of it as my idol, I was enabled to enjoy it for what it’s worth. When you’re projecting your own designs on something and taking it more seriously than it should be, you don’t get what God intended you to get out of it. When you simply accept things for what they are and don’t expect more than what they can give, you experience the satisfaction you’re supposed to.”
Idols promise the joy of glory, but deliver bondage. Jesus promises the joy of glory, too, and delivers the freedom that only the gospel can provide. When my ultimate joy is in Jesus, I can rightly enjoy lesser joys in their proper perspective… and not be crushed when those lesser joys don’t fulfill the way that I had hoped when they were an idol.