There was a time in the not too distant past when the mere image or mention of the name made my blood boil. Tim Tebow. It’s like when the hyenas say “Mufasa” to one another in the Lion King. He was the most celebrated quarterback in the land playing for one of the most outstanding teams – the Florida Gators – and for, arguably, one of the best coaches, Urban Meyer.
The problem was I have been and always will be a dyed in the wool Tennessee Vol fan.
But for all my allegiance to my Vols, I have a higher calling and ultimate allegiance to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So does Tim Tebow. While I would seldom admit it while he was dominating SEC opponents and winning championships, I always found his back story compelling. Born to missionary parents. Raised and traveled all over the world for the sake of Christ. I ALWAYS maintained a healthy, albeit silent, respect for him.
Then there are the haters.
Following graduation and being drafted into the NFL, the hate has continued to rise. The hate could come from any number of places. The hate could be born out of those who are opposed to Christianity – after all, we do live in a country that prides itself on religious tolerance so long as you don’t choose to follow Christ. It could also be born out of the inherent dislike for the Good Guy. At first, people like the good guy. Then after the good guy maintains his (or her) good guy status, the tables turn. Individuals who are too undisciplined or ungodly to be a good guy begin to have disdain for those who are. As an aside, I’m convinced this is also what Peyton Manning goes through.
The hate is also felt from those who say Tim Tebow doesn’t have the tools to be playing quarterback in the NFL. The critics point to his seeming lack of pocket passing ability. He throws too many interceptions. They point to the fact that QB’s who depend on their running skills in college, generally speaking, have a tendency to have short-lived NFL careers due to the beating they endure. Yet, this year the one stat no one seems to be able to argue with is having six wins in his seven starts. Teammates love him. His coaches love him.
I pray for Tim Tebow because we live in a world that thrives on knocking everyone down to size. The world can’t stand when people champion goodness or Godliness. The world is waiting to see Tim Tebow tarnished. The spotlight will only get brighter and hotter. Jesus will be Jesus no matter what happens to Tim Tebow or you or me. But in the eyes of the world, if Tim falls, the Christian faith takes yet another one on the chin.
This Volunteer fan says, “God bless and Godspeed, Tim Tebow.”
Come to think of it, what would it be like if we all prayed for each other to be strong in the face of a broken society and a fallen world? What a novel idea.