I’m on hiatus this week and I am enjoying it. There is something to be said for taking a few vacation days away from work during this time of the year, despite the cold weather that makes it impossible to accomplish anything even remotely productive. I’ve enjoyed waking up each morning and drinking coffee with my wife; just being mindful of the little things in life and I’ve been reminded yet again of their importance. I also know it will end all too soon and I will find myself back to the grind of my job in no time, so I am savoring each moment as I write in my blog this morning.
Tim Tebow is playing in the Sugar Bowl this week. His Florida Gators did not meet their own lofty expectations of a national championship contest, but it is still a prestigious bowl game that will garner national attention. I am by no means a Gator fan; when I watch one of their games I can be counted on to root for the other team regardless of who they happen to be playing. But I have become a fan of Tim Tebow and not just because of his physical prowess as a quarterback, although he is a great one. I’m more inclined to be his fan due to the way he lives his life and how he stands up for his faith despite the media spotlight that has been focused upon him.
I read an article in an on-line newspaper this morning that reported his habit of writing Scripture-references on the face-black painted below his eyes before every game. He uses a new scripture for each competition and he says that it originates from whatever he is feeling in his heart on game day. Of course, I was already aware of this as it was explained during a game I was watching a few months ago, and the announcers, to give them credit, treated it as a wholesome thing for him to do. I printed the article for my daughter as she is possibly his number one fan, but I did not print the complete article for her. The commentary was good and painted Tim in a very favorable light, but the reader comments at the bottom of the article were appalling.
I’ll explain myself by saying that most of the comments had nothing to do with his success or failure on the gridiron. A large percentage were apparently left on the page in a blatant attempt to discredit his faith and his lifestyle, and some of them were even well written and bordered on the profound. I became sickened after the first page and stopped reading when one reader suggested that Tim needed to ‘loosen up’ and become more a member of the ‘real world’. But what really broke my heart was the comment that came from someone who appeared to be a Christian, quoting a verse in Matthew 6 that he used to make a point that Tim was losing his reward in Heaven for publicly displaying his faith here on earth.
I wanted to post my own comment and almost did, pronouncing my opinion that if Tim were a Muslim and had used quotations from the Koran, none of this would be an issue. He would be celebrated as ‘modern’ and one who has been ‘enlightened’, etc. But that argument is tired in my mind. It no longer matters in the proverbial grand scheme of things. I also thought about commenting back to the ‘Christian’ and asking him would he feel better if Tim chose to hide his light under a bushel. A voice in my head told me to step away from the keyboard, and I was reminded of the casting of pearls before swine that Jesus mentioned and the consequences thereof. In time I will feel better and this will once again be a great day. A Christian today needs patience in these sorts of matters.
My take on Mr. Tebow’s public display of Scripture, as well as his lifestyle, is this: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
I think Tim gets it. That’s what I see reading between the lines of the media reports and the news articles that I’ve read about him. Besides, he used these verses himself during the Florida State game.