He’s half my age and plays a game for a living, but I’m learning a valuable lesson from Tim Tebow, the new starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos.
You don’ t have to be a football fan to appreciate Tebow — or the message of this post. So, please read on.
In case you haven’t heard, the big news in the sporting world is that Tim Tebow is going to start as quarterback for the Denver Broncos this Sunday against Miami. In fact, the Dolphins have sold an extra 10,000 tickets for the homecoming of their hero.
Tebow was a Heisman Trophy winner and led the University of Florida to two national championships. Some say he was among the greatest college quarterbacks — ever. The Broncos drafted him in the first round two years, but for the most part he has been standing on the sidelines, clipboard in hand, eyes watching with intent every play.
The struggling Broncos are finally giving the kid his chance this Sunday.
I can’t comment on his football ability, since I have never seen him play — sorry sports fans. But I have been observing how he handles himself. All that pressure. All that talent. All that attention.
Tebow has been a superstar probably since he played Pop Warner football. He’s been lauded with awards, attention, media and lavish praise for a long, long time. Yet, he continually responds with humility, grace and honor. And he’s an outspoken believer in Christ, speaking about his faith intelligently and naturally.
He was known for painting Bible verses in the grease under his eyes, so a million people would watch him take a snap for the Gators and at the same time be reminded of John 3:16, or Phil 4:8. After he graduated, they changed the rules so no one could do that again.
In the locker room and on the field, he’s a leadership magnet. Tough players, hardened by the world and not necessarily comfortable with his Christianity are drawn to his athletic ability, but more so by his character. He is a leader, a friend and a motivator. His love and passion for the game is backed a boundless enthusiasm. His teammates adore him. What’s not to love about this kid?
I recently read an amazing interview, where the reporter was trying to goad Tebow. “Why aren’t you starting? Isn’t sitting on the bench humbling for you? Don’t you think you should be leading this team, the same way you led the Florida Gators?”
Tebow said this, in so many words. My job right now is to learn. I’m just a young player. The only thing I’m trying to do right now is earn the respect of my teammates. I’ll be an example to them in my professional and personal life.
When I look at my own world of influence, I try to strut my stuff, my ability and my experience. Rarely do I think about just earning respect the right way.
He talks about his faith. But even more, he lives it in a way that is attractive and real.
And now, he gets his chance. Throw deep brother. You already won.
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