WINONA LAKE — “When you see the cross or a picture of a cross, that is not a symbol of how much God loves you. That’s a symbol of how much God loves his enemies.”
Chris Singleton, a former Major League Baseball outfielder, started his speech at the Kosciusko Community YMCA’s fourth annual Good Friday breakfast April 19, by addressing a crowd of approximately 200 people about God’s love for everyone and the symbolism of the cross.
“It’s his love that fuels us to do what we’re called to do and to love others,” said Singleton.
Singleton, who currently works as an MLB analyst for ESPN, played for the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He currently lives in Atlanta, Ga., but was born in California and raised by his single mom.
Even though Singleton grew up without his biological father present in his life, he delivered sentiments regarding his little league and soccer coaches and the impact both individuals made on him.
“It wasn’t like they could look and see that ‘Oh, this kid is going to grow up to be a college football player and a major league baseball player, yeah it’s easy to invest in him,'” said Singleton. “They had no idea. And I am forever grateful for the space they held in my life and the positive investment they had on me. They loved and they cared and God worked all of that together so that ultimately I could work to get closer to my calling.”
Singleton also encouraged the crowd to work worship into all aspects of their daily tasks, quoting a piece of Scripture from John Chapter 4 where Jesus talks with a Samaritan woman about places of worship.
“They say you’re supposed to worship here when you’re in this or that denomination,” said Singleton. “Wherever you are is your place of worship, Your business, your family, the activities…the things that you’re excited and passionate about. What makes you come alive becomes contagious. And when there’s life to it, that’s an opportunity to bring Christ into the situation.”
He asked those in the audience who worship frequently to further study their connection with God.
“Take a look at your life and your intimacy with God,” said Singleton.
To end his speech, Singleton talked about the importance of reflecting on connections with God in any activity or hobby.
“It’s not just the worship that God desires out of us,” said Singleton. “It’s really more about allowing us to always be connected with him.”
Ben Keffer, Kosciusko Community YMCA director of marketing and fundraising development, discussed the importance of religion in the organization.
“YMCA is the Young Men’s Christian Association,” said Keffer. “So it’s great to host an event that focuses more on the religious aspect of the organization. The ultimate goal of this event is to give everyone an opportunity to socialize with others and hear from a motivational speaker.”
The breakfast at the event was provided by Mad Anthony Brewing Company and hosted at Christ’s Covenant Church, Winona Lake.