Monday, January 11, 2010

My Hero?

I have never had any particular reason to be a fan of the Florida Gators’ football team, but I have really pulled for them the last couple of years as I’ve watched their quarterback, Tim Tebow. If you keep up with NCAA football at all, you know about Tim. His college career has been so amazing that it has even spawned a line of jokes similar to the ‘Chuck Norris’ or ‘Jack Bauer’ line of jokes, like:
The active ingredient in Red Bull is Tim Tebow's sweat.
Tim Tebow can get Chick-Fil-A - on Sunday.
People with amnesia still remember Tim Tebow.
Superman's only weakness is kryptonite. Tim Tebow laughs at Superman for even HAVING a weakness.
When Google can't find something, it asks Tim Tebow for help.
What color is Tim Tebow's blood? Trick question. Tim Tebow does not bleed.
Tim Tebow once stiff-armed a horse. That animal became what is now known as the giraffe.
When taking the SAT, write "Tim Tebow" for every answer. You will score more than 1600.
Tim Tebow gets called for roughing the tackler.
When Tebow spikes the ball, he strikes oil.
Tim Tebow can touch MC Hammer.
Tim Tebow frequently donates blood to the Red Cross - just never his own.
Referees created instant replay so they could admire Tim Tebow more than once.

But it’s actually the man behind all of the statistics, victories, and hype that I admire. Although he is a devout Christian, home-schooled by missionary parents, and unashamed to admit to confused media types that he intends to remain a virgin until he marries, he has not (to my knowledge) ever tried to leverage his ‘celebrity’ to gain fame and glory for himself. In fact, one of the things that really started me liking him is how he realized that, in his position, the television cameras would be showing ‘close up’ views of him on a regular basis. So, he took that opportunity to write Bible verse references on the ‘glare strips’ he would wear under his eyes.

Although obvious, Tim’s proclamation of God’s Word was still subtle. While a guy wearing a rainbow ‘Afro’ wig and holding a ‘John 3:16’ sign in the endzone bleachers draws criticism and derision, when Tim had the same verse on his glare strips during the 2009 BCS Championship Game, Google recorded 93,000,000 hits for it.

For those of us who have been on Tim’s real team for a number of years, a verse like John 3:16 is just ‘second nature.’ But for 93 million other folks out there, an outstanding young athlete earned the right (in their minds) to point them toward the gospel message.

Patrick Morley (of Man in the Mirror) is similarly impressed with Tim and he tried to keep track of all of the verses Tim referenced on his glare strips this year. He says they were: Proverbs 3:5-6, Mark 8:36, Romans 8:28, Isaiah 40:31, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Psalm 23:1, Ephesians 4:32, Philippians 4:6-7, Colossians 3:23, Joshua 1:8-9, Romans 1:16, Hebrews 12:1-2, John 16:33, Ephesians 2:8-10. Look those up when you have an opportunity to see what Tim has proclaimed.

There are lots of NFL scouting experts who say Tim doesn’t have what is required to be a successful NFL quarterback – not accurate enough, too long of a throwing motion, etc. But if I had the chance to choose him, I would in a heartbeat.

Tim Tebow is a difference maker. Tim Tebow leads others where they need to go. Tim Tebow marshals all of his gifts and talents and efforts with victory in mind.

And Tim Tebow also plays football very well.

If you are like me, you probably don’t have the opportunity to ‘witness’ to millions of people each week. But what are you doing with the opportunities you do have?

Admittedly, you may lose some credibility if you wear glare strips under your eyes with ‘Philippians 4:6-7’ written on them when you attend your Monday morning sales meeting. And if you’re a surgeon, your patients may go elsewhere if you ask them if they know where they’ll end up if they die today.

But still – we are on the same team with Tim Tebow. The game plan calls for us making a difference; for us to lead others where they need to go; for us to maximize our gifts, talents, resources, and efforts.

Tim Tebow does some heroic things. But Tim Tebow is not my hero; Jesus Christ is.

Tim has shown us one way of pointing others toward our Hero. We should have our own ways of doing that as well.

Are you doing that?

Better question: How are you going to do that today?

“You are the light of the world - like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.
Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see,
so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Matthew 5:14-16, NLT

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