Whether you like the game of football or not most of you have heard of Tim Tebow. The young quarterback whose life story has intrigued so many has made headlines lately because of some late game heroics. Now the heroics by themselves are not necessarily unique, but the circumstances surrounding how it all came to be have piqued folk’s interest around the world. The young Florida Gators phenom who became the first quarterback to both rush and pass for more than 20 TD’s in a season was almost aborted in the womb. His remarkable story has energized and inspired the Christian faithful (and many others), and would have been a non-fiction bestseller already if not for the most recent chapter yet to be completed.
Tebow arrived at the AFC West Denver Broncos Training Camp via the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. In 2011 he would replace Kyle Orton as the team’s starting quarterback after being called up in the second half of a game against the San Diego Chargers. Tebow nearly erased a 16 point deficit but ultimately the chargers would prevail. Nonetheless, the die had been cast and the Broncos have ridden a 6 game winning streak with Tebow at the helm to now be in contention for the play-offs. This brings me to the reason for this post.
Tebow has made no secret of his faith in Jesus Christ and how it has lifted him up personally. He has also taken great pains to not press his beliefs on those of a different stance. That said, his signature one knee prayer has both enlightened and enraged fans everywhere. Some have even called on the NFL to step in and set ground rules for “prayer” during games. To their credit, the League has opted to stay out of this fray for now. Sadly, Tebow’s simple and unassuming moment of reflection seems neither a bother nor a distraction to his team, but rather has become their rallying point. Moreover, it has become the rallying point for Bronco Nation. You see I believe that there is a deep-seated and appreciated faith in most American hearts which bubbles up when we see a successful person acknowledge that he/she is not the be all and end all of their own achievements. Consciously or unconsciously we cheer for the humble who go forward without hesitation and are then thankful if only for the chance. Tim Tebow’s prayer may not reflect your belief or lack of it, but his passion for his God tells us something about him and about ourselves in 2011.
As I navigate the holiday season and try my best to grab hold of the spirit, I am troubled by how much things have changed in just my lifetime. I catch myself staring at the folks as they push, shove and curse their way through these couple of months, and I’m floored to see and feel the angry way so many comport themselves. Regrettably, and much to my wife’s chagrin, I am often compelled to lash out at times in response. So when I returned home from the nightmare that has become Christmas Shopping in the 21st century the other night, and watched the rebroadcast of Tebow doing it again late in the fourth quarter, and then saw the thankfulness and genuine affection in his one knee prayer after the game, I thought to myself, now there’s a guy with his head squarely on his shoulders, a guy who understands the sun does not necessarily rise or set because of him, and a guy who is cognizant of this world and his place in it. Now regardless of how far Tebow goes as we get ready to close out the regular NFL season, I would ask all of you to take a good hard look at this young man’s life story and success thus far and then tell me that passionate and humble faith in a Godly power greater than our own is time wasted. Because if you can, then “We the People” and the nation which has its cultural roots firmly in the God-given strength of a free and faithful populous are most certainly in jeopardy.