Aspiring To Higher Things

I just read an article about Grant Desme, a 23-year-old minor leaguer for the Oakland A’s. Evidently, he’s a pretty promising player. He was named MVP for the Arizona Fall League and is  “ranked the A’s eighth-best prospect by Baseball America.”

 But he’s decided to leave the game. He’s leaving baseball to join the Catholic priesthood.

Baseball is stunned.

Now, I have my own issues with requirements for priests, the hierarchy, the Catholic church in general. But that’s not what impressed me. What struck me was Grant’s explanation. He was doing really well in baseball but he felt he had to figure out what was best for him and what his purpose was. It just took him awhile to figure it out. And then he said…

“I love the game, but I’m going to aspire to higher things.”

Higher things.

At an age when sports cars, shiny watches, lots of money in the bank and fame are so alluring he’s aspiring to a world of caring, service and sacrifice. And that’s higher to him.

What an amazing young man.

I wish I had his faith.


Filed under Observations, People

19 responses to “Aspiring To Higher Things

  1. I’m with you on all counts. I think a lot of the requirements for priests are a reflection of the Catholic religion’s unhealthy preoccupation with and hysterical fear of women, physicality, sexuality etc. (and I say this as a former Catholic). I think they tend to attract a lot of the wrong sort of people. But the fact that he’s leaving baseball to aspire to ANYTHING ‘higher’ is admirable.

  2. Higher things? Maybe. On the other hand, maybe he simply doesn’t believe in forced steroids! If I was given the same choices, MLB player or priest, I’d choose priest, too. :p

    The Vatican doesn’t have a baseball team, does it?

    Seriously, though, interesting story about a remarkable young man. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. uh mazing! love this story. my husband heard it yesterday.

  4. suzicate

    A calling is an amazing thing. My son didn’t understand how his friend with almost perfect SATs who was accepted to Princeton decided to go to a “bible college”. Thanks for sharing another great story!

  5. What an incredible story! Thanks for sharing it – especially because it gave me the chance to scoop Husband on some sports news. 🙂

  6. That is amazing in this day and age. Our society places so much value on celebrities/money/fame/sports and little to none on faith/God/anything related to morality. I’ll bet his mother is proud of him.

  7. That’s a great story of following what you believe in and are called to do. I think a lot of people ignore their calls because they worry about money or what others would think if they walked a different path.

  8. Very impressive! A-parent-ly he had a great upbringing. Admirable choice from a young man in this day
    & age.

  9. Wow, walking away from fame and fortune for faith and personal fulfillment; there is hope for the future!

  10. Many of my friends are disillusioned As fans who figure that when players are leaving for the priesthood the ball club is in worse shape than they thought…
    nothing like a little cynicism from sports fans with their priorities skewed, eh?

    • Funny, that’s EXACTLY what my husband said. I’ll keep my Pollyanna view, thank you very much. I guess that’s why we work – we balance each other!

  11. Wow. I find that heartening. I love that he felt he had a higher calling than just playing baseball and making money. Wonderful.

    I really should show that to my 15 year old nephew…he’s obsessed with being a professional football player.

  12. Nicki

    This act of almost totally blind faith is amazing.

  13. That’s a helluva guy. Wow.

  14. Amazing how our culture has changed over the past two or three decades that this would be so astounding. And yet it is. I imagine that many people leave more accepted roles every day, to pursue “higher callings.” But we don’t hear about them, as they aren’t famous or wealthy to begin with. Yet there are daily acts of bravery from those who struggle to raise children alone, and on too little, those who put up with invisible and menial jobs to put food on the table, and pressures most of us can’t imagine.

    I applaud this individual for following his heart. I think we should also applaud the anonymous “every man” and “every woman” who slog through the long hours to raise families, to teach, in poorly funded schools, to care for the infirm and the sick, to do the “dirty work” in our society, perhaps not considered a higher calling but a necessity. They have no spectacular tales to tell that we will ever here. Their acts of courage and kindness go unsung.

  15. Faith is a very interesting and powerful thing, for those that choose to have it.

  16. May we all aspire to higher things. Always. Now, this means something different for each of us, but I love the idea that we all have some kind of grander purpose to which we can and should aspire. There is always something bigger and I think it is bold and brave to walk away from safe riches to pursue it.

  17. I heard about this guy recently. Higher callings are great, only if and when that calling has a noble goal. Suicide bombers also have a “higher calling”, though I doubt we’d laud them as much as this young man.
    (Sorry, Devil’s advocate here…)

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