|Tim Tebow as a Jet|
God, forgive me for forgetting what I think is one of the most important perspectives we, as American Christians fail to embrace. There is a difference between a Christian football player and one who is a football player and occasionally mentions some faith that he "doesn't wear on his sleeve".
We Christians need to take a look at those in the "lime-light" that carry our torch for us bravely and honorably. Sometimes we need to support the RIGHT guy regardless of what team he plays on or what we (in our self-made expert's mind) think about his "skill level". WE need to support a guy who is willing to undergo unbelievable persecution (or as much as American Christians know of persecution) because he is the best of who we say we are.
I was hoping for a nice transfer to Jacksonville, FL where it was always sunny and there was a church on every corner. Where, for some reason, it was easier to route for his team. The above mentioned article reminded me of why, if God wants to transform a bunch of pigskin throwers, He never intended Tebow to end up in FL. Tebow's job, his purpose on this earth, has less to do with winning football games (much less) than it does with providing the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in a new and possibly more powerful way to people in a state that has been, as a whole, sadly in the dark for what seems like ever.
I have felt for a couple of years now that God is moving into New York. It's not a place I care to EVER go - even for a visit... EVER. (I better be careful - God loves it when I make comments like that). But there are a lot of Christians and Christian organizations who have been called to carry their shovels across the border and begin shoveling the mess that is New York (especially the city) out and set up the lamp stands that are missing to carry the Light of the World.
It behooves us to pray for the likes of Tebow, Jeremy Lin, Zach Johnson to name just a few. These guys are continually undermined by those who hate the name of Christ whether it be fans of their team, commentators of their sport, or their own teammates purely because they force us all to look at ourselves in the mirror and evaluate ourselves in the eyes of our Creator God. these outspoken Christians are the ones that set US up for the applause or the spittle that comes at us from every corner.
With the Manning/Tebow debacle (yes I view it as such) of late I have seen Facebook posts by some who I know claim Christ say "I like him as a guy but as a player - not at all". I view that as akin to "I support the troops but not the war." Candidly, I don't think either is possible. You cannot support men and women who spend their days (and even their very lives) immersed in something you don't approve of. There is just no way that is possible. If you really think it is then I am just not as compartmentalized as I have always believed I am - you have me beat - huge - and ask my friends... that is hard to do.
Equally, I think, if you are a Christian and tired of seeing Tebow's name everywhere and roll your eyes in the midst of discussion regarding him whether it's the trade or his faith, then maybe you need to reassess. After all, it's not like he stunk it up for Denver last season. Admit it, you may not like his throw but he saved their season. You may not like his "no-holds barred" attempt at running the ball when there's no chance to throw but he led them to a winning season AND he never took the credit for himself.
For those of us in the Jackson, MS area and especially those of you who love baseball, we have our own opportunity to support a guy coming to play with our own MBraves. His name is Todd Cunningham and he's a precious young man who loves the Lord and wants every young person to see his/her abundant life waiting for them should they just embrace it. I will be honest, I cannot stand baseball - I mean seriously, passionately dislike the game, but I will be attending a few games this year SOLELY because I want to support Todd. It will have nothing to do with his team or his performance (although if he has a good game I will be delighted) but because he needs all the emotional and physically present support that he can get as he tries to reach all of those around him for Christ.
I know that your sport is important to you and you like to see it played the way YOU want it played. I am just asking you to think about REthinking your perspective. If you have a chance to support a guy (or gal) who is "all in" with their Christian walk and just happens to be a pretty decent player, maybe, just maybe, you might consider supporting him, her, or their team ONLY because you want to see the evangelist/missionary who throws the football, dribbles the basketball, and/or swings the club or bat see some success and I'm not talking about points on a scoreboard.