Tim Tebow, quarterback for the Denver Broncos American professional football team, is impacting his sport, our society and our language.
Tebow, former college football quarterback for the Florida Gators, prays during his games. He hits a knee and bows his head after a good play, after a bad play, after a score, after a game, on the sideline while he’s waiting on his offense to get back in the game, when nothing else is going on. Tebow prays.
His prayers are genuine. During after-game interviews he rarely fails to give The Lord credit for any and all of his, or his team’s, game accomplishments. And his personal life also reflects his love the Lord.
He guided the University of Florida to two national championships. In the 2006 season Florida beat Ohio State. And in the 2008 season Florida beat Oklahoma for their second national title in three years. That same year Tebow became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, the most coveted recognition in American college football. As he prepared for each game Tebow painted Bible verses on the black strips under his eyes.
In addition to football, Tebow has affected our culture as well. Taking a knee and bowing the head has become a stance you can witness throughout the country, and even in some unconventional places. Many Tebow stances, however, some mean to poke fun at the iconic quarterback. You can see the stances on downtown sidewalks and in the streets. In malls. Actors and newscasters mock the quarterback and strike the pose to get laughs. Kids in groups on high school campuses strike the pose for cameras. In trees, on airplanes, with Santa Claus, and some other shameless ways and places I won’t mention.
Regardless of their intent, they are imitating a football player committed to giving thanks to God. Some are mockers. Some are detractors. They criticize the young play caller, claiming he is calling attention to himself and distracting players and fans from the game. But some are people who pray, maybe now with a bit more conviction and courage after they see Tim Tebow’s prayers impacting so many players, broadcasters and viewers on a national stage.
Tebow is not only impacting people on a national stage; his praying stance is changing the language. “Tebowing” is becoming a verb. It is now common to see someone on a street corner, or in a restaurant “tebowing”. People ask friends, “Do you ‘tebow’ in public?” It is also a noun. “I’m going to strike a ‘tebow’ in the break room today.” And as an adjective. “Are you going to do your ‘tebow’ thing in class?”
Despite all the attention, the critics and the admirers, God is using Tim Tebow and his courageous prayers as a witness to millions of people. God is using Tebow to call attention to the most intimate, personal relationship on earth, a man or woman with their God.
Will the league forbid him from striking his pose? Will the ACLU file a lawsuit and insist that if Tebow bows in prayer, the league must allow a Muslim to bow in prayer, or a gay person? Who knows? What I do know is this: today, in front of millions of people, a man kneeling to pray to his God on a national stage is impacting and witnessing to millions of people across the country.
I want the same kind of faith and boldness.
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Are you a praying person? Do you know how much God wants to be in a personal, intimate relationship with you? Praying is our way of talking with God, getting our needs met and worshiping Him. Do you know how much God loves you? Do you know Christ as your personal Savior? I’d like to encourage you to follow this link if you’d like to know more about God and know Jesus Christ personally.