Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tim Tebow

I never thought that I would say that I am jealous that Greg is going to a football game without me.  Lucky dog gets to go to the Patriots/Denver game Saturday and watch Tim Tebow compete head to head against Tom Brady.  For this game I would suit up in my now famous silk thermals, stick some boot warmers in my Uggs to help brave the Massachusetts' cold and while I am sure I would still freeze my tookas off, I would actually care about the outcome.
Last week I finished reading Through My Eyes, the auto biography of Tim’s young life.  I find him and his story fascinating.  He first came to my attention when the Super Bowl advertisement he made with his mother for Focus on the Family received attention for the assumption it would be nothing more than propaganda for the pro life side of the abortion debate.  Then this season his name began popping up here and there.  Suddenly people were doing the “Tebow” and my friend from church was wearing his jersey.  He was fodder for late night comedians. I listened to Piers Morgan interview his co-author, Nathan Whitaker.  I read  Bill Maher's distasteful tweet.  I needed to know more about this man and his life.  
To highlight:

  • Tim won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore while playing at the University of Florida.
  • He led the University of Florida to a national championship.
  • Tim was named the Offensive MVP in the 2008 National Championships.
  • He was selected in the 1st round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.
When I told Greg that he has a biography and I was reading it he was surprised wondering why he has a biography out now when he is so young and his NFL career is just beginning.  Tim addresses this in his introduction.  Having received so much publicity for his religious views, his homeschooling, and his birth story, he wanted to tell the world his story, through his eyes.  
I enjoyed his story.  His mother was advised to end her pregnancy as his birth posed a threat to her health and survival.  She declined this advice and delivered a healthy, albeit small, baby boy.  This boy grew up in the Philippines where his father was a missionary spreading the word of Jesus to those living in remote villages.  Upon returning to the United States, he was homeschooled in Florida with his brothers and sisters and grew up on a farm.  His childhood was built upon a loving family, solid values, a hard work ethic, and athletics.  His faith shaped his soul.  
Unlike many teenagers who grow away from their faith, Tim embraced his.  I admire that for every phase of his life, every hardship, triumph, frustration and celebration he can recite scripture verbatim, from memory.  I do not know the Bible well enough to do this and I respect that he does.  I also respect that unlike so many celebrity athletes, musicians and actors, he seeks the role of role model rather than shirking from it.  
The news has given prime time coverage to Chris Brown’s domestic violence, Lindsay Lohan’s stints in rehab, Kim Khardashian’s 70 day marriage and Tiger’s infidelities.  How refreshing to see a young person actually want to be a positive role model, to want to show a younger generation the power of prayer, hard work, dedication and perseverance.  How inspiring to see someone thrive in the face of criticism and win in the wake of negativity.
I can’t say that I read every word of Tim’s book.  I skimmed the account of football game after football game.  The details of who caught a pass and who fumbled did not hold my interest.  However, there is something to be learned from how hard this man works to prepare himself for life.  He works as hard on the field as he does off the field. 

He is someone who clearly walks the walk.  

  • He is leading his teammates to victory, he is leading strangers to the Bible.
  • He is inspiring children,.
  • He is working in orphanages.  
  • He is building playrooms in hospitals. 
  • He is saving himself for marriage.  
He is someone that I hope my children look up to.  
He has inspired me.

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