Monday, January 09, 2012

The Faith of Tim Tebow

I made a comment a couple of weeks ago on Facebook about how Tim Tebow makes prayer look so easy. I stated how I wished prayer were as simple as it appears to be in the life of Tim Tebow. It seems as though each time Tebow prayed, the Broncos won.

Despite what some might say, I don't believe God is a Broncos fan. And, while I am now reluctant to admit it, I found Tebow's public faith a little unsettling.

Sundays are not normally reserved for football in our home. But I was not home yesterday. Rather, I was sitting on a couch in Denver with my sister on one side of me and my sixteen-year-old niece on the other side. My sister had proudly worn her Bronco orange Crocs to school on Friday and was wearing a Broncos sweatshirt for the game. My niece had carefully placed black markings beneath her eyes for Sunday's playoff game. When I looked her in the eye, I saw "Phil. 4:13" staring back at me. There was no way I was going to miss yesterday's game. Watching the Broncos play the Steelers was not a choice in my sister's house.

And I cannot seem to get enough of Tim Tebow today. I loved watching him play in yesterday's game but I especially loved hearing him speak in the locker room following the game.

Tim Tebow gave praise to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ before thanking his coaches. He then began to speak about the platform God has given to him before sharing how he was excited to spend time with a child after the game who had been through more than 70 surgeries. His discipleship was tangible. It poured from his lips onto center stage for all the world to see.

I believe that St. Francis had it right when he said we should preach the Gospel at all times but use words only when necessary. Our actions speak louder than our words. But Tebow's words got to me last night. They have soaked through my mind and my heart.

What is the platform God has given to you?

I doubt that no one reading this post is a professional athlete who can point to the sky following a victory, letting all the world know who is in control. But I bet my life that everyone reading this post has a platform - we all have a place where we can allow our light to shine.

Too often we are led to believe that our faith is reserved for Sundays. Following Jesus is something we do inside the walls of a church. God forbid Jesus come along with us to work. But what if your work - your vocation - your job is the very place God is eager to burst through?

What is the platform God has given to you?

I just dropped some clothes off at the dry cleaner. Sunny, one of the owners, knows me by name. She always asks about my job. She seems to get excited each time I drop off my clergy robe. The love of God shines through Sunny. The dry cleaner is her platform.

We went out to dinner on Friday night in Denver. The waiter took particular care of my niece when we shared we were celebrating her birthday. He made her the center of attention. His words and actions allowed her to feel intricately woven together - special. Maggiano's is his platform.

The man who answers the phone at the gym always makes my day. I can tell by the sound of his voice how much he loves life. He radiates joy through the phone. He greets each member by name. The gym is his platform.

What is the platform God has given to you?

We do not regularly give our Lord and Savior praise with our lips during the workday but we can praise him with our lives. We can allow our light to shine.

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to God. Matthew 5:14-16

What is the platform God has given to you?

1 comment:

Chris Weathers said...

In our society, which is mightily consumed with 24/7 coverage of athletes, their purpose on and off the field, and their indiscretions, Tebow offers what seems to be an earnest and honest approach. He has always been outwardly faithful to Jesus and openly admits that he is using his competitiveness and athleticism at the highest level as a platform to evangelize. His love for the game and athletic talents are exceptional, but nothing is higher than his love for God and Jesus. And true to the blog post, Tebow ACTS well beyond the gestures and comments from the gridiron.

My only reservation with Tebow is that I know he and his family are indirectly associated with conservative religious organizations that could align with the politics of oppressing certain groups. I have no idea how associated they may be, other than the appearance in a commercial that aired during the Super Bowl a couple years ago. However, I believe Tebow directly promotes love and empathy on his platform.

He has attracted, inspired and even irked the media, fans, and those who could care less about a football game. It will be interesting to see where Tebow takes the attention that he has brought to himself, God, and football.