by Evan Kakuk
On his path to becoming a Yellow Jacket, Caleb Fauth has had his fair share of hardships. The junior track athlete was prepared to throw javelin for Cedarville this spring during the outdoor track season. This opportunity was cut short for him. While devastating, this was not the first instance Fauth has experienced hardships related to his athletic career. In fact, if it weren’t for an accident that ended his baseball career, Fauth may have never come to Cedarville University in the first place.
Before coming to Cedarville, Fauth was a star baseball player in high school. He played pitcher and left fielder, and by his junior year he peaked around midseason. In terms of his pitching ability, Fauth says that he was throwing harder than he ever had.
“[I] had a lot of really cool interests in college; I was in contact with a scout from the Blue Jays, a professional baseball team.” says Fauth. “I was talking to him a lot, trying to, like, work stuff out, [to] see what could happen in the future.”
By this time, Fauth was focused on baseball to the point where he let it go to his head. “I was thinking that I was this, like, you know, star baseball player; nothing else mattered.”
However, that all began to change after an accident put a stop to all of these dreams.
One weekend, Fauth decided to play ultimate frisbee with some of his friends. In attempting a diving catch, he shattered his ankle. In that moment, Fauth saw all of the Division 1 college offers and anything that could be worked out with the Blue Jays slip away. He thought, “God, you can’t be doing something that can possibly alter my future.”
Fauth’s father, Joe Fauth, was also upset about the whole incident. But he did trust that God had a plan through all of this.
“We had always prayed that the Lord would be more important to Caleb than [himself],” said Fauth. While his prayer would be answered in due time, it was hard for Caleb to see the hand of God working in this incident.
Meanwhile, the injury forced Fauth into surgery. After surgery, he spent five months on crutches. The doctors claimed that he would never be able to run again. Caleb took this as a direct challenge. But at this point, he still wasn’t focused on ways to glorify God.
“I was still working for the glory of Caleb,” he said.
Fauth began his senior year of high school unable to play baseball. He was a shell of his former self strength-wise, and the mobility in his recovering ankle was non-existent. All of his college offers were dropped.
However, one day, his friend asked him to join the track team. Fauth found this request strange, since he’d never really competed in track before. He told his friend that he probably couldn’t run the way that he used to, let alone compete at varsity level for track. His friend said that it’s fine, and he can probably just focus on throwing javelin.
So, he competes. And does really well. So well, in fact, that later in the season, he received a call from Cedarville University. They were asking him if he wanted to throw javelin for the track team on a scholarship. Fauth accepted the offer, as he saw no other way into college outside of a sports scholarship. It was the most unexpected blessing Fauth could have asked for.
Fauth signed with the Yellow Jackets, and he competed in javelin his freshman year in college. He does better than he ever expected to do, winning the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) track meet while also setting the javelin record.
This is when Fauth’s mentality began to change. He saw that baseball had become an idol in his life.
“I was worshiping baseball over God, because baseball was what my identity was being found in.” He saw that God had placed this athletic ability in his life, so he should use it for God’s glory.
“Christ gave me this athletic ability as an outlet.”
Now, after seeing how God took care of him this entire time, that is what Fauth has set out to do from this point forward with his athletic ability.
Fauth’s father is especially happy to see his son glorifying God with his athletic ability.
“My prayer is that he’d be able to enjoy this,” says Mr. Fauth. “This is [going to] be an opportunity for him to really know the grace of God.”
Now that junior year has started for Fauth, he has another season to not only excel on the track team, but to also reflect on the goodness of God and His grace that has brought him through all of his physical hardships.
Evan Kakuk is a sophomore Professional Writing and Information Design major. He enjoys running, weightlifting, and playing Wii with his friends.