January 12, 2012
It’s Christmas Eve, 2011, and the Buffalo Bills are hosting the Denver Broncos. It’s “Tebow time” here in Buffalo, and with one of the most exciting players to take a snap this season coming to Buffalo, the atmosphere is electric with anticipation! And among the most high-voltage Tebow fans to light up the stands is Erin Marie, our firstborn.
You have to know Erin, she’s as sweet and caring as she can be and rarely asks for anything — she’s all about the giving. I felt like a broken record trying to pry a Christmas list from her, but eventually was able to squeeze one special request from her heart, she asked for one very specific thing: “I’d really like to go to the Broncos game and meet Tim Tebow.”
Knowing that this would be an easy task for her father, I shared her request with Jim. Now, you need to understand something about JK, he hates asking players for anything, even for his own kids. Autographs, photo-ops, souvenirs — he shies away from any of that kind of stuff because he doesn’t want the guys to think that he’s taking advantage of them.
And I get that — it’s a good rule-of-thumb. However, I think you know me well enough to know that this was the exception to the rule in my rule-book. I confess, I called a blitz and sent it all in from guilt to glamour (just to be sure)! “This is for your daughter. It’s the only thing she wants for Christmas…” Seriously, what’s a mother to do?
Needless to say, I really didn’t have to blitz, Jim is a great father and did what ever it took to bless Erin.
Here’s what happened…
During pre-game warm-ups Jim brought all of us (Erin, Camryn, our nephew Chad, my sister-in-law Tricia, and me) down on the field. After watching some of the players practice for a while we made our way over to the tunnel (where all the players enter the playing field). While we were waiting for Tim to come out of the locker room (I kind of felt like a crazy fan with just a touch of stalker) Jim stopped to talk to the Broncos Head Coach, John Fox and John Elway (a friend and former Denver Bronco quarterback during the same era as Jim). You would’ve thought Jim and John were ready to pull up some chairs and order drinks — they talked like two women who hadn’t seen each other in years. It was fun listening to them reminisce but I’ll admit, we were anxious to meet Tim.
Just as Jim and John ended their conversation, Tim walked out of the locker room. When he noticed Jim, he immediately stopped and extended his hand. It all happened so fast, (I guess warm-ups and a very important game took precedence over our group meeting — of course it did, hello, it’s football season). There were cameras everywhere, so it wasn’t like Jim and Tim could have any sort of deep conversation. After a quick hello and the routine small talk, Jim turned towards us and introduced us to Tim. You should have seen the look on Erin’s face. Priceless.
After we were introduced, I couldn’t help but say one more thing before Tim walked away. As he started to walk towards the end of the tunnel I said, “Thank you for loving Jesus so much.”
And he responded, “That’s what it’s all about, right?!”
That’s what it’s all about — RIGHT.
Here’s the deal, it’s all about loving Jesus!
Tim Tebow apparently gets this. I don’t know him. But, what I’ve seen, read and heard tell me that this man is on fire for the Lord. And because he is, everyone and their brother seem to think they have to answer this question: What are you going to do with Tim Tebow?
He’s all over the news. Not by choice— it simply sells! So the media is having a field day with everything Tim Tebow. And because of this, people have started to share how they feel about him.
Just this morning, when I logged into my AOL account there was an article with this headline: Tim Tebow Wins Again And Charles Barkley Says ‘The National Nightmare Continues’
Part of the article reads:
Missanelli then asked Barkley if he has had enough of Tebow.
“I think the world has,” Barkley replied. “First of all, Mike, I don’t know anything you said about Tebow but let’s just say the jury is still out on Tebow. He seems like a nice kid but these ups and downs are so different. The jury is still out on Tebow…”
Hmmm, I think it’s more like the world “has had enough” of Jesus. Needless to say, the media is all over Tebow. Why?
I’ll tell you what I think. First of all God has elevated Tim and given him the platform he has. God gave him talent — the ability to play exceptional football (yes, even JK says the guy can play so let’s not even go there — wink, wink.) God placed him on the Denver Broncos. God has allowed this team to win and lose (remember it’s a team sport). And God has allowed the media frenzy.
The frenzy we hear and see is not even about Tim Tebow. It’s about Jesus. If Tim didn’t chose to be so open about thanking Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior, the media wouldn’t be all over him. Twitter wouldn’t be trending #TimTebow. Google wouldn’t be posting a record number of searches for John 3:16. YouTube wouldn’t have thousands of hits on #15 singing “Lord I lift Your Name on high” during a football game. The mayor of Pittsburg wouldn’t have lost a bet and had to wear a #15 Broncos jersey while Tebowing (bending down on one knee with head down — looking as though one is praying).
None of this is really about Tim at all. It’s about the One he loves — Jesus.
Because at the end of the day, it’s always going to be all about Jesus. Wherever His Name is proclaimed, and He is legitimately honored from the heart, there is controversy.
The interesting thing about all this is the fact that all Tim has done is thank God. Whether verbally after a win (or loss, yes, he still thanks Jesus after a loss), or physically by bending the knee in prayer, or pointing to the heavens in praise. He hasn’t stomped his feet with conviction and intolerance on some soap box insisting that everyone repent or go straight to the fires of hell. No, all he’s done is thank and praise God. it’s crazy how much this drives people to such intense verbal abuse and condemnation.
The thing is, God doesn’t need Tim Tebow. He spoke and light existed, and He knows the number of hairs on your head. As if He needs any one of us. He doesn’t. But Tim Tebow, you, me, and everyone else breathing right now — we need Him.
We need God.
So, instead of asking or contemplating what we’re going to do with all of the Tebowmania, I guess we should ask ourselves the very question Tim asked me:
That’s what it’s all about right?
Maybe we should focus beyond the man to the One greater…
What are you going to do with the One it’s all about?
What are you going to do with Jesus?