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It’s been 19 years since I last saw my friend Alan Botkin. We played baseball together with the St. Louis Cardinals in the minors. Alan was integral in my early understanding of Christianity. He was a constant encouragement during our two seasons together (1992-1993) in St. Petersburg Florida. We traveled the Southeast with the Cardinals and our own Southern side trip to a Clemson vs. Florida State Football game and a visit of ACC and SEC schools right after our baseball season ended.

We went to Bible studies together, found a church to go to together and learned what it meant to be a professional athlete and a Christian together.

Today, after 19 years we met for lunch to catch up on what has been going on all these years. What a great time. He was in San Diego for a conference (he currently lives in Charlotte, NC). We reminisced about our time with the Cardinals and our travels and our Pro Athlete’s Outreach (PAO) conferences http://www.pao.org/ which were so forming in our spiritual development.

Listen, good friends are good friends no matter how long you’ve been apart. I want to encourage you to reconnect with your friends. How many of you have friends you haven’t seen in a long, long, time? It’s a huge blessing to reconnect and catch up.