Most people know him as a Texas Rangers outfielder, but there is more than meets the eye when it comes to David Murphy.
Murphy spoke in chapel Jan. 18 about his involvement with I Am Second, a movement that includes athletes, actors, musicians and others who make videos talking about their life experiences and how they live for Christ.
They use the videos to show how they allow God to be first in their lives and themselves second.
Murphy is humbled to have his story on the iamsecond.com website along with his teammate Josh Hamilton.
“I feel honored that they contacted me with the list of names on their website like Josh Hamilton, my teammate, who was one of the first guys to be up on their website,” he said. “I don’t always see myself in the light that is deserving of it, but if God has called me and asked me to do something like that, I’m very willing and very thankful to have the opportunity.”
Murphy’s friendship with Hamilton is important to him. Having a friend and brother in Christ on the team helps Murphy in his faith walk.
One of the things Murphy addresses in his video is “always playing for His glory.” Not only is he able to show this by the words he speaks and his actions during the game, but also by praying throughout the day.
“(I) have the Lord constantly in my thoughts and continually pray (during the game). I always thought of prayer as a very formal, always have to be on your knees type of thing, when prayer is really something that should be a continual thing and something that you should be doing at all times of the day,” Murphy said. “I have plenty of time to do it on the baseball field, whether it’s during a big moment when I’m hitting or out in the outfield when there is plenty of time between pitches, there is plenty of time for prayer.”
Not worrying about his performance, but having confidence in God is something that has been crucial to his faith.
“That is the most difficult part of what I talked about. There are so many times that I feel like I’m better than my performance shows,” he said. “So the bottom line is I have to realize regardless of results at the end of the day that it’s just one step further in God’s plans for me.”
In 2009, one of Murphy’s biggest obstacles came his way. He started the season 0-23 and was discouraged with how his season was going.
“Out of every single major league player that season, I was the last to record a hit. I was coming off a pretty good rookie season, and I questioned the Lord ‘Why, why is this happening?’”
However, Murphy knew he had to trust in the Lord’s provision and that everything was happening for a reason.
“I understood that it could be a test to make me stronger and that I would come out on the other side better, which is what it ended up being. When you go through something like that, it’s a miserable feeling,” he said. “You feel like you’re letting your teammates down. You don’t know if your performance is going to get you sent down and get to the point where I can’t provide for my family.”
Murphy spoke in both the 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. chapels services. Students and people from the community came to hear the Rangers outfielder share his testimony.
Junior pre-physical therapy major Katilee Ralph said, “It was really cool to hear how he is humble about his faith and that he understands that the talent he has is God given and not something he can do on his own.”
After speaking in chapel, Murphy had lunch with the Cru baseball team. Not only was the team able to eat lunch with Murphy, but he also took time to answer questions, take pictures and sign autographs. With the Cru starting the season in just a few short weeks, the lunch meant a lot to team members.
“David Murphy was a very down-to-earth kind of guy. Truly blessed to hear him boldly proclaim his faith in chapel,” senior pitcher and sport management and finance major Andy Evans said. “Then he really showed how personable he is when he chose to have lunch with us and spent all the night before autographing pictures for us.”
To Christian athletes who want to pursue a professional career, or just live out a godly life, Murphy has one last piece of advice.
“Don’t ever close a door in your mind on how God may use you. I’ve never been to seminary, and I don’t feel like I’m the most well educated person when it comes to the Bible,” he said. “I thought of myself negatively, and I would turn down opportunities. You don’t have to be the most well educated, well-spoken person to talk about Jesus and tell people about Jesus. You just have to have the right heart and be willing to do the work that God wants you to do.”