Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tim Tebow -- hot now, but wait

Tim Tebow, the former missionary kid, has made quite a name for himself over the past few years. The first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy while attending the University of Florida and the subject of an anti-abortion ad during last year's Super Bowl, he now plays quarterback for the Denver Broncos, who have lost only one game since he was given the starting job about two months ago.

Lately he's been somewhat of a lighting rod for his open displays of Christian faith both on the field and in the media. Some love it, but others have said that he should tone it down. (One of his critics is the now-retired Kurt Warner, himself a believer who led the St. Louis Rams to their only Super Bowl championship in 2001.)

Here's the problem I have with all the attention Tebow gets: There does appear to be a lack of humility, let alone depth, on his part. He has played for winning teams throughout his short career -- UF plays in the Southeastern Conference, arguably the toughest in the country and whose games are broadcast on CBS. It's easy to "praise God" in such situations.

But wait until he starts losing games. Then we'll see what he's really made of.

In 1996, after losing a close playoff game to the Steelers, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh still gave props to Jesus. Going further back, consider pitcher Orel Hershiser, whose Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in 1988. However, two years later he needed surgery that prematurely ended his season; at a press conference, he said, in effect, "The same God that was there when we won the World Series is going to be there now."

And let's look at Warner, who played at the University of Northern Iowa, which participates in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA) and had previously worked in a grocery store before resuming his career. Because he didn't go to a football factory, virtually no one knew who he was -- that is, except for pro scouts.

In the early 1980s I used to watch the 700 Club, and I couldn't help but notice that when it broadcast athlete profiles only these qualified: 1) star players; 2) from winning teams; 3) with Christian parents or spouses (or, in one case, a fiancé). Yet it's very possible that a third-stringer from a losing team who's unattached and doesn't come from a Christian home may maintain a deeper walk with God than any of them -- and needs to.

In such situations I'm reminded of the line from "Blessed Be the Name of the LORD": "Blessed be His name/On the road marked with suffering/When there's pain in the offering/Blessed be the name ... " It's easy to be "on fire for God" when you're on top, but when things start to fall apart -- that's when you learn what you're made of.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Merry Christmas Rick, and to your readers.This year the company I work for is having an Employee Appreciation Dinner to replace the Christnas dinners we had in the past.At that dinner (which is emplovee time) I will bve displaying( and I quote)) " an Employee Appreciation Tree" at my desk. I will have a 3 dimensional card that will read as follows: " 'HE' appreciated you so much He came to visit; He loves you so much; He's moving here ,,,Soon. John 3:17... Most people who are 'real' Christians when they are down, decay and forget Jesus when , they are exalted and prosper. Many who claim we can command prosperity as our divine right, decay or show their true character when things go bad. Either smears Jesus "Rep". If my fingers are having an awesome day on guitar, they don't forget my banged up toe's pain.We are being encouraged to be "cowardy submissive" (to quote the Amplified Bible) while THEY try to shut us up and nueter our holidays and Godly Heritage. Next year may be our last chance to be (politely and respectfully) as loud as those who hate Jesus, and want us to quietly go away. Rush sings "Show Me Dont Tell Me", but, if I'm shure Jesus is God and there's Heaven and Hell, and I say nothing; Am I a "loving witness" or a devil and a anti-christ. When your on top, it can cost you your following, or your standing.On the bottom it can cost you promotion. Anywhere in between it can cost you your job. Let's not fulfill the words of the Russian who said" we will take America without firing a shot." In 2012 alot of people are out to save their butts and their jobs. But, it may be the last, best safe environment for vocalizing our 'Faith",before discrimination is legal against any nationality of Christian...Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year from Mark David Madden