Sunday, January 15, 2012

Why the World Needs Tim Tebow

There was a point in time when I too was not a big fan of the man who has become known simply as "Tebow." I have never really paid much attention to the Denver Broncos. At least not since John Elway retired. And even after Tebow was drafted by the Broncos, I still didn't pay much attention to him. To me, he was just such guy. Some guy who had beaten my Buckeyes in the 2007 BCS Championship game and would later beat the Cincinnati Bearcats in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. As a sports fan, that is simply not a reason to endorse Tebow. And so, I was on the side that questioned Tebow's ability to play in the NFL. I think deep within me, there was this hope that he wouldn't succeed. But isn't that the nature of jealousy? Especially in this world, and especially in the sports world.
And so, that's how it was for most of the 2010 NFL Season. I didn't want to see Tebow succeed, and for the most part, it was easy to ignore any success he had. But all that grew much more difficult this year. After Tebow replaced Kyle Orton as the Broncos' starting quarterback, you couldn't ignore his success. He seemed to be unstoppable. Every game was a game to watch. Tebow never ceased to amaze, pulling off incredible comebacks like band-aids: sometimes painfully. At least, to me they were. It began to grow more and more difficult to doubt Tebow's success.
I grew so sick of hearing Tebow's name. But I couldn't tell why. Why was I still holding onto this grudge? Why did I continue to criticize him for not being a very good quarterback? My argument: if he didn't play so terribly in the beginning of the game, he wouldn't have to make all those comebacks.
But then, I realized it.
I think so many other people can relate with me that, often, we oppose something simply for the purpose of opposing. Sometimes without even realizing it. We are so afraid to go against the flow that we pretend we are in the flow, only to then continue to pretend to go against the flow. There is an inherently rebellious nature to humanity. It's called original sin, and it is the reason for evil in the world.
Tim Tebow is just as much a victim to this evil and a culprit of sin as the rest of us. But the difference? Tebow is in the public forum.
With a name as renowned as Tebow, he simply can't help to avoid the media. He is not a media hound. Not from what I've seen at least. The media goes to him. He's a story. But even more than that, he's a threat.
The media craves sin. It thrives off it. A scandal appeals to the sinful nature of humanity. It gives us, humans, something to talk about. Something to judge. We need scandal because it allows us to pass judgments on something we do not understand, but we justify our judgments based on the idea that "every one else is doing it." If the media can criticize, why can't we? In this age where social networks and blogs have fallen into the fray of the media, any one can have a voice. Tebow's voice is a threat to the media because his is a voice of hope.
Tim Tebow is a Christian, and he is humbly proud of it. Humbly proud. An adjective I wish I could use to describe myself and more men in this world. But while we may not be there, we can strive. As brothers, sisters, humanity needs to strive for that humble pride that can only be attained by asking a Higher Power to give it to us. That is what Tim Tebow does. He does it throughout the game of every game he plays. He prays. He prays for himself, but indirectly, his prayer affects all of us. Tebow's prayers may be for him and his team to play well, but God uses his public image of prayer for the good of all who witness it.
Who else has aired Super Bowl commercials to spread the pro-life message?
Who else has worn Scripture passages on their eye black? (Note: there are others. Reggie Bush, for example.)
Who else has born the title of "virgin" with joy, taking what has recently become a common insult and restoring it to its natural status as a heroic title?
Who else has become so well known for his prayer habits as to have a posture of prayer named after him?
Who else...but Tebow.
And so, the world needs Tim Tebow. This is a dark world in a dark time. We are force-fed sin and lies, so craftily bound in wool so as to deceive we sheep into receiving the wolves.
Insults are heaved upon acts of heroism like plagues of locusts, while sin is praised in all realms of everyday life.
Practicing abortion, the legal distribution of pornography, and the rights of musical artists to degrade women are defended by law, while praying in a public school, wearing Scripture verses on eye black, or wearing hats with Christian symbols (see: Jon Kitna fined for wearing a hat with a cross on it) during sporting events is not.
The "cool kid" has become the gangsta who has the most money, the coolest car, the most sexual experience, the most power while the "loser" is the boy who willingly tutors less academically fortunate peers, saves his money for college in the hopes that he can do some good for the world, and respects women.
The world is full of sin and suffering, lies and lust, death and doubt.
The world needs Tim Tebow.
He is just another man. I do not know him, I do not know much about him. I just discovered that he was homeschooled and has defended homeschooling, and for that, he has my respect even more.
I have been converted. I am a Tebow fan. I will root for him every game, God willing Tebow continues to follow God's will in his life. And Tim Tebow does not have to win. He does anyway, and in football, that's all that matters. It's not how well you play, not how many stats you put up, but how you win games and win them well. And if Tim Tebow loses every game for the rest of his life, if he fails to throw a single touchdown or run a single yard, if he fails to start another game, he will still be my favorite football player and, to me, one of the greatest football players to ever play the sport. He wins because he has a greater victory to play for, a victory he recalls every time he falls to one knee. The victory is life; eternal life with God.
Why does the world need Tim Tebow?
Why not?
This world has enough hatred, enough anger, enough evil. It's time for a little light.
The Greek word for honor is "timao," as in the Iliad where Achilles fights for his eternal "timae."
The Greek word for God is "Theo," as in "theology" (the study of God.)
Thus the name Timothy: one who honors God.
Go Tebow!

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