On Tebow

A disclaimer: Like anything else I say, the views on this blog are that of my own – and nobody else I am associated with. You may not agree with what I have to say, may agree to some of it, or may think I’m a total idiot.  That’s fine. Remember, writers write first for themselves. Also remember that I also believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It’s what makes this world a great place to live in – we all think differently.  Also, nothing of what I am about to say should be taken as a passive agressive attack on your own opinion, whether it has been silent or vocal – I value my friends and their cooresponding relationships, and would hope you’d look beyond my blog for a better understanding of who I am and what I believe.

So that being said;

Last night’s game was awesome.  Twitter and Facebook were on fire.  Tebow and crew pulled off an upset for the record books.  It was a fun game to watch. Then, once all the fanfare died down, the analysts – both armchair and professional came out to play.  They talked about his yardage (3:16 yards — go figure), the defense, the decision for the Steelers not to kick the possible (but improbable) game winning field goal.  All that was suspected.  But a more underlying question was being asked, sometimes out in the open (I saw several professional analysts elude to it), and sometimes in the deep recesses of social media.

Did God help Tebow win?

Before I try and answer that question from my perspective; let’s get one thing quickly out of the way.  Before this season, I honestly had not followed Tebow’s career that closely.  I vaugley recall his decision to appear in a commercial promoting Pro-Life.  I knew he won a Heisman.  I know he has a vehement fanclub, and a equal – if not larger, group of people who “don’t care for the guy.” But … I was not exactly a Denver Bronco’s or a Tebow fan.  I, for lack of a better term, jumped on the bandwagon.

Why? Maybe it had something to do with my team’s losing record sans a Quarterback.  Maybe it had something to do with the consistent 4th quarter heroics.  Look, when you’re not emotionally invested in the outcome of a game, watching 4th quarter heroics akin to that of Tim Tebow is if nothing else, widely entertaining.  When you love the game of Football like I do, you’ll watch certain players because people are talking. It’s just darn interesting. I started to read more about the guy, his accomplishments, his beliefs – his past – and I was intrigued. So, It’s the hype that brought me to cheer for Tebow last night. Yeah? What of it?  There’s nothing wrong with jumping into the hype.  Hype surrounds most things in our culture – such as “Hey, these iPod things are neat,” to “that movie is a must see!,” to the release of a catchy song.  Hype creates avenues for creativity and acknowledgement.  You don’t have to join in, but you can’t deny it’s there.

So snapping back to my original question :  Did God help Tebow win?

I’ve read several blog posts today and several social media links that God has nothing to do with football, and while Tebow may be this great guy; God and football are to very seperate things. I want to address the whole Tebow “madness,” with some of my own points, three to be exact.

1) God doesn’t have to prioritize.

One argument people often make that God “doesn’t care about the meaningless stuff like football,” is that God has other, more pressing matters.  However, if you buy into the idea that God is omnipresent, and all knowing, then you can then conclude that God has time and resources to devote to anything he deems worthy of devoting his time to.  God works in mysterious ways.  God’s whole goal – even with the sending of his son, was to bring people closer in a relationship with him – to know of him and know him.  He operates the universe’s most succesful marketing department. Tebow could very well be a catalyst.  If anything, he’s got the press talking. Perhaps Tebow’s success has opened up the door for others to experience the love of God and friendship, that if Tebow wasn’t successful – wouldn’t be an actual opportunity.   That also does not mean God doesn’t have other goals.  Throughout history, we’ve all been given this image of God as this righteous judger and accuser – always saying “No.” But the truth is far different. God wants his children to be happy, successful, engaged.  As parents, we want the best for our children.  If we could offer them tips and strategy to be better at what they love within the barriers of fair play, would we? Of course. Think about it.

2) Free will still exists, and can exist, even within miracles.

Do I think God threw the game Tebow’s direction? No.  Do I think God made available for Tebow the opportunities to be successful on the field? Sure, why not? The fact of the matter is God gave all of us free will.  Because of that, I believe God isn’t out their manipulating reality to fit that of his followers (in other words, I doubt anytime soon you’ll see Tebow fly through the air with a Halo, landing in the endzone in an angelic last second touchdown) – but I do believe that when we surrender to the will of God, we’re given opportunities and wisdom that we may have otherwise not uncovered ourselves. Look, that’s not to say that other Quarterbacks who follow other religions don’t have talent and direction.  I’m also not implying that if you are a Christian, and a football player – that you’re going to be better than your linebacker friend who’s an Atheist.  What I AM saying, is that it’s a very dangerous place when we put God in a box and say “God would not intervene there!”  Really? Just how would you know?

3) Tebow’s “Tebowing” is just Tebow being Tebow.

A lot of press has been given to Tebow’s victory prayer.  Athletes for as long as I can remember have thanked God for wins and victories to the press after games.  What of it?  The Bible talks about rejoicing in God always, about being able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me, about doing all things without complaining and with Thanksgiving.  It talks about a man’s hard work being noble.  When I have large accomplishments at work, I always try and go back and thank God for the opportunity and the talent he gave me.  Do I think God helped me achieve the compliance I worked on for a whole year? Vicariously, yes.  Because If it was not for God, I wouldn’t have the talents I have.  I wouldn’t be who I am.  Much has been said about the public display that Tebow makes of it – that these things “shouldn’t be on the field.”   I honestly would not care if a Muslim thanked Allah for a win on national television, or if a runner after winning a race held up her cat, thanking it for inspiration.  Our culture, for whatever reason, is historically terrified of letting someone acknowledge God publicly.   Just because Tebow kneels for a quick prayer after a play doesn’t mean that tomorrow the Ten Commandments are going to be posted at every stadium and we’re all going to be forced to recite the Apostles Creed at the bottom of the Ninth.  Relax. It’s just his thing. I say let him have it.

Tim Tebow mania will probably die down once he loses a game ,just like the latest news story will become old news when something interesting happens. It’s hype.  It’s a good article to read.  It’s part of our culture and our pop history.  All in all, wether you agree with everything or not, it’s also a little fun. It got people thinking. It’s sparked debate and it’s made for some great moments in football.

And afterall, great moments in football make everyone – except possibly the Steelers fan, happy.

– Grant

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