I’ve come to believe in Tim Tebow, but not for what he does on a football field, which is still three parts Dr. Jekyll and two parts Mr. Hyde.
No, I’ve come to believe in Tim Tebow for what he does off a football field, which is represent the best parts of us, the parts I want to be and so rarely am.
Who among us is this selfless?
Every week, Tebow picks out someone who is suffering, or who is dying, or who is injured. He flies these people and their families to the Broncos game, rents them a car, puts them up in a nice hotel, buys them dinner (usually at a Dave & Buster’s), gets them and their families pregame passes, visits with them just before kickoff (!), gets them 30-yard-line tickets down low, visits with them after the game (sometimes for an hour), has them walk him to his car, and sends them off with a basket of gifts.
Home or road, win or lose, hero or goat.
It’s easy to try to portray all of this as a distraction, or pure heroism, but Tebow doesn’t see it that way:
“Just the opposite,” Tebow says. “It’s by far the best thing I do to get myself ready. Here you are, about to play a game that the world says is the most important thing in the world. Win and they praise you. Lose and they crush you. And here I have a chance to talk to the coolest, most courageous people. It puts it all into perspective. The game doesn’t really matter. I mean, I’ll give 100 percent of my heart to win it, but in the end, the thing I most want to do is not win championships or make a lot of money, it’s to invest in people’s lives, to make a difference.”
One thing I’ve learned in all of the years of my Christian activity, be it nursing home ministry, immigrant resettlement, or whatever, is that when we focus our attention and activity to ameliorate the problems of others, our own challenges are much easier to deal with. That’s something, especially for a generation as self-focused as mine, that isn’t obvious. It’s come from following a God that commands me to reach out to others rather than constantly strive for self-fulfilment.
As far as the Broncos’ loss to the Patriots and who God wanted to win, the blunt truth of the matter is that, with Tebow, the Broncos got further this season than anyone expected, with ratings and enthusiasm following.