I’m listening to Michael Graham on the way home last night. It is at most a 15 minute drive so there isn’t much exposure to the program and I frequently tune in in the middle of some topic. Last night I caught part of a segment on Tim Tebow, the sudden attention he has attracted, and of course his faith.
One caller in particular caught my ear, not based on his feelings about Tebow but due to his complete lack of understanding about the nature of faith, and in this case Tebow’s public expression of it. The caller kept saying that he thought it was a bit goofy because there was no way God would really care about the NFL or the outcome of a football game. So his understanding of Tebow’s faith relationship was limited to a supernatural interest in sports and Tebow seeking divine intervention to affect an outcome in his favor.
I think I would have to agree…that God is not betting on the Broncos. But then that is probably not what Tebow is praying for.
What’s He Praying For?
When I pray, I do not look for things to go my way. I look for strength to find the way myself using the example of divine perfection as a road map. Being human I will never find that destination while I live and breathe, but I am not meant to. I am merely meant to understand my limitations without using them as an excuse. When I wander off the path God’s example helps me to find it again. To find creative, positive, and productive ways around the limitations inherent in the flesh and a world populated with millions of other flawed creatures like myself. I must also remember that there is the potential for good and evil in the world, inside each and every one of us, (even Tim Tebow) and that this evil will try to trick us into choosing what Yoda would call “the quick and easy path.”
Life is hard. Our goal is to make it better without doing so at the expense of others. Faith helps us make the best of every situation.
So I don’t think Tim Tebow is asking God to take anything away from anyone else, from any other team, so that he can achieve victory. He is not asking God to bet on the Broncos. That would be selfish, even a little bit evil. He should be using his faith to encourage himself to be the best example of an athlete charged with leading a team to victory. He is seeking the path to courage and excellence, around all the challenges and pitfalls that confront him. And if he fails he will not blame God or anyone else for his own shortcomings. He will rightly assume that while he is talented, he is still human, and try as we might, there are always going to be those more talented or more committed, and that it would be better to learn from their good example than to envy them or even heap scorn upon them.
So here’s the political part…
I think, that to some degree at least, this is why Americans, even people who could care less about football, are intrigued by his story. In a country currently lead by a man that has done nothing but diminish the nation, and blame others, and a political party that seeks only to incite envy and hatred of others simply because they have more, Tim Tebow appears to be an example of a man who is not afraid to show what appears to be genuine faith, not for himself, but for something greater.
And despite what the secular humanists, atheists, and others would tell you, the faith that Tim Tebow appears to have, is what propelled this nation to greatness. It demands personal responsibility and accountability and it is the foundation of our nation, our liberty, and our prosperity.
The inability of too many modern Americans (like the caller I mentioned earlier) to grasp the individual relationship to faith and how it made America, might explain why we were once a great nation with a government instead of the other way around.