I don't normally write about sports and athletes but there's always an exception. I am speaking of the person who is Tim Tebow.
I have watched this young man play football since his first start with the University of Florida. He is the same today as he was then...respectful, talented, determined, hard working, and several other adjectives along those lines. But what gets the most recognition from the main stream media is the fact that he believes in God with his whole heart. You know it when he talks...not because he's trying to "win you over", but in his quiet humbleness. He chooses to unashamedly live his life of faith so that the whole world can see it. And that is not acceptable in the sight of the media types.
For once, sports in general and football in specific has a player who is worthy to be held up as someone to emulate. Someone that young people can look up to as an example of how to live their lives. And they do look up. Even though they don't have the platform to get the word out, and don't stand a chance of drowning out his detractors, they know what they see when they watch him.
So what is it about Tim Tebow that is so threatening? It's can't be his views, he has never once suggested that God cares one whit about football. He never tries to proselytize. Oh sure, he might wear a Bible verse reference (such as, Mark 8:36) on a patch under his eye, but he leaves it to the reader as to whether they look it up or not. He does take a knee on the field (several times during the game) and somehow that's perceived as worse than the silly, sometimes vulgar antics of other players in the end zone?
Again I will ask, what is it about him that makes so many people crazy? Why do they even care what he does? Some have theorized that it is because he emphasizes the part of his talent that he feels in given, not earned. When he bows his head he is saying that there is someone who is greater than anything else in the universe who deserves his attention, his allegiance and his praise.
Does his faith actually work? Have you ever watched one of his 4th quarter come backs (in college or pros)? Then you know that for him, it absolutely does. He does not believe his talent is random at all, but that it is bestowed on him by his Creator. It was not given to him so he can sit back and relish the adulation of the crowds but (as I heard from his own mouth in an interview) so that he can be in a position to impact the lives of others. And this he does through his foundation to help the poor, through his work at his father's orphanage, through his mission work and through his face to face visits.
So when you hear all those people bashing and giving him a hard time, think of the young people who desperately want to see a life lived by faith. And recognize that His God has given him a tremendous talent but at the same time, a formidable challenge. To live with the adulation I spoke of earlier. He must hear it, but not believe it. Read it, but not fall for it. It is a terrible, all consuming monster to those who do, who let themselves believe their press. But given the rock solid foundation he has grown up with, somehow I don't believe he will.