Monday, December 12, 2011
Morning Thanks--Tim Tebow
The fact is, I much prefer the religiosity of Aaron Rodgers, of Packer fame, who is substantially no different from Tim Tebow in fervor and commitment to his Christian faith, but doesn't make such a big deal out of it. Dozens and dozens of NFL greats pray as unceasingly as he does, just not as publicly. Tebow probably prays in his closet, as Jesus himself directed his disciples; but he also takes a knee, unceasingly, in front of hundreds of thousands--no, millions--of viewers. About his faith, he's not shy.
But what's more amazing about him is that he really means it, that he isn't phony, that he's not just creating a brand or out looking for more ink. We're in a political season right now, when campaigning blowhards will say just about anything to garner voters, as if they could turn themselves into magnets in a field of metal filings. But this guy--this Tebow--is real.
And what's most astounding at this very moment--after yet another truly miraculous win for the Broncos yesterday at Soldier Field--is that all that determined spirituality seems to pay off. The "mile-high Messiah" they call him, the guy who experts say shouldn't really be all that good as pro quarterback. But is. But wins games, one after another, almost, we might say, religiously. When Tebow walks on water, he doesn't even get his feet wet, some folks say. The story of Tebow right now, flimsy as it might be, is that faith delivers. Try it for yourself.
But failure is inevitable. In most of the games he's won for the Broncos, he's also had some pitiably bad moments, just not at the end. The fourth quarter, his fans say, is TebowTime.
I don't think anyone really believes he's a pigskin messiah, but right now he's charmed, he's blessed, he's adorned with--of all things in this culture!--the thick purple robe of Godliness. It's almost impossible to write that sentence, and here's another: Tim Tebow makes righteousness cool. Believe it. After all, he's winning. Amazing grace--he's winning.
When it's over, when he starts to lose--as he inevitably will--I think he'll deliver his greatest blessing because, just as he did when he won the Heisman, he'll say--I'm sure of it--just as he always has: it was a great ride, but playing football was nowhere near the greatest thing in my life. He will. Mark me.
And that'll be a lesson in grace for those thousands who took to the streets the night Paterno got axed at Penn State. That'll be an inspiration for those fans who are truly fanatics. That'll be lesson for all of us, a sermon America may well understand better than successive punchy homilies by Joel Osteen and Pat Robertson and Rick Warren and Rick Perry.
I prefer my Christians a little less in-your-face, but this morning, after another incredible Denver Bronco victory, I am thankful for a man who is, impossible as it may seem, a true paragon of virtue, Tim Tebow, a kid somehow blessed by the grace of some god or another, a rookie who wins NFL games when nobody but himself and his teammates think he should.
And never stops giving thanks.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 6:29 AM