Monday, January 9, 2012

Tebowing?

I know that I might catch a lot of flack for this…that is if anyone even reads this blog and actually disagrees...especially if the creators of tebowing.com caught wind of this. But I’m going to write it anyway.

Let me first say that I am a huge fan of Timothy Tebow. I was born a Florida Gator fan and have remained so through their terribly terrible seasons, their okay seasons, the Tebow seasons, and yes, the post Tebow seasons.  I became an even bigger fan during those famed Tebow days, not only because he brought us some great seasons, but more so for what he stood for. As a Christian, I wholeheartedly respect that man and how he tries to use his platform to glorify Christ. I have just one issue. This issue is NOT his fault. He did not coin the term nor does he really have any control over what his rabid fans do to honor him & I doubt it’s a battle he would choose to fight anyway seeing as how he has too many.

This new term, “tebowing,” has become the newest thing. I’ve seen the ads on the side of facebook but just recently read an editorial by the NY Times about the whole anomaly. Yes, the editorial is a month old but I came across it while searching for editorials for my students to complete a project. My co-worker had a copy of this one and it really interested me. In the piece, “Tebowing on the Gridiron, and Off,” it talks about Tebow’s pre-game “posture” of taking a knee and lowering his head to his fist before a game. The fact that Tebow does this does not surprise or shock me. He is a disciple of Christ having a talk with his best friend before a game. And wait for it…here’s the clencher…it’s actually NOT called Tebowing as so many have begun to say. It’s called PRAYING. And no matter how amazing some think this is, it has actually been done long before Tebow  was even heard of and hopefully, it will be done long after he is gone.

I have nothing but respect for a man who faithfully kneels to his Creator to say a prayer before a game. Does he pray for a win? Perhaps. But after reading his book Through my Eyes, I rather believe that he prays that his actions in the game would glorify the Lord and that he would play his best.

With all that said, I have not watched one Denver Broncos game, mostly because when I did have cable, I could never find the game and now that I don’t have cable, well I simply can’t. But when I see the thousands of posts about him on a Sunday evening on facebook, I faithfully google the Broncos and check out the updates of his latest 11th hour win…because, well, that is his trend as of late.

My problem with the term “tebowing” stems not from any disappointment with the man himself; it stems from the fact that the term for a reverent conversation with the Almighty, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, has been degraded to a term named after an imperfect HUMAN. On tebowing.com’s site, it lists the (for lack of a better word) formal definition as “(vb) to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.” Well, that’s all fine and dandy but now you have all these pictures of people supposedly “tebowing” in front of different back drops. But if the definition rings true, how many of those pictures are really legit? Are those people all ACTUALLY praying while in that position? I dare say (and yes, this is absolutely a judgment on my part) not.

I fear, and it has already begun, that Tebow is going to be held in higher regard than the one that he himself is trying to glorify. Don’t believe me? Check out Mark Kriegel’s most recent article here. The most jaw dropping line for me? “I can’t think of an athlete, who has been judged by such bipolar standards. Tebow began the season as a bum. Then he became a savior (not just the garden-variety redeemer of a franchise, but spoken of as a true messianic figure).” Let’s get one thing straight here, people. Tim Tebow is NOT a savior. And if he were sitting with me while I was typing this, I think he would be the first to agree. There is only ONE savior and that is Jesus Christ…the very person that Tebow uses his platform to bring praise and honor to so stop twisting it. Tebow is a wonderful man, a great football player, and a good quarterback but he is not a savior. Let’s reserve that term for the one man who deserves it…the One who came to give His life so that we could live the lives that we do.

As wonderful as Tebow is, he is still human, and if we continue to put him up high on this pedestal, one of these days, a lot of people are going to be disappointed. If you think he is beyond messing up, you have another thing coming. Tim Tebow, like the rest of us Christ followers, is just an imperfect and ordinary man saved by grace who just so happens to have an extraordinary platform to bring honor to his Savior, Jesus Christ. If the rest of the sports world can’t get that through their thick skulls, then we are going to have a serious mess to clean up one day.

With all that said, my respect for the man remains unwavering as does my faith in the One that he and I both worship – our Heavenly Father – and HE, not any man, should be first!