Monday, January 9, 2012

God Is Great, Tebow Is Good

Nothing makes a secular bigot sputter and vituperate like a Jesus-loving jock.  Secularists across the nation are gnashing their teeth this evening over the latest Mile High miracle.  Tim Tebow, whose apostolic Christianity has been a thumb in the eye of those who prefer that others keep their religion in the closet, had a big night.

The Denver Broncos defeated the defending AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers (along with their bad-boy quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger) 29-23 in a first round playoff game, the first overtime game played under new, stricter rules.  It ended on the first play from scrimmage in overtime with an 80 yard touchdown completion from Tebow to Demaryius Thomas.

Tebow finished with 316 yards (204 to Thomas on four receptions) and two touchdowns on 10/21 completions and a QB rating of 125.6.  Not bad for a  quarterback regularly maligned as artless and lousy.

It was a great game.  But that's not the point of the post.

Tebow was a demigod in college at Florida where he won a national championship, and the Heisman Trophy, the first sophomore to win college football's most vaunted prize.  He began his acceptance speech by thanking his Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

The following year he withdrew his name from consideration on Playboy's pre-season all American team.  It wasn't his type of magazine; he was a virgin, and didn't revel at pictures of naked women.

He later made two pro-life commercials for Focus on the Family, which aired during Super Bowl XLIV.  They featured his mother, who had declined to accept MD's advice to abort him.  Mother and son are obviously very close, and happy.  He's her miracle baby; she's the one who chose to protect rather than kill him.  God is the one who preserved his life.

Did Noman mention that he was home schooled as a youngster?

He was drafted by Denver in 2010.  The Broncos were 1-4 under Kyle Orton this season (2011) when the reigns were turned over to Tebow.  The Broncos proceeded to win seven of eight games, three of them in overtime, most of them in hair-raising, last second comebacks.

Tebowing was the talk of the nation, with one Long Island school even banning the practice among students--the week before Christmas.

Skeptics were quick to declare that God loved Tom as well as Tim when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots thumped the Broncos, ending their miraculous streak.  Two more losses including a season finale at home at the hands of Kyle Orton and his new team, the Kansas City Chiefs, put an exclamation point on Tebow's supposed fall from grace.

All that talk seemed to miss the point.  The Broncos failed to clinch their division (the AFC West) with a win.  But, they clinched it nevertheless with an 8-8 record because their chief competitor for the division crown, the Oakland Raiders, also lost.

If critics wished to infer that God (or the non-existent God) didn't bless Tebow because he didn't win every big game, it was fair for admirers to infer that God did indeed bless him with a division crown in his first year as a starter even though he didn't win every big game, or any game with the title on the line.

God blessed Tebow with just enough of what he needed in order to show His divine favor. He didn't bless him with invincibility.  He merely rewarded Tebow's faithfulness with a division crown.  That the Broncos made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth suggests rather than rules out Divine intervention.  

Of course, God's favor doesn't always manifest itself in exceptionless victory and success, as Lot and Jesus himself attest.  The practical test of faith is to see God's benevolent will in apparent failure, even misery.  He doesn't promise to reward faith with perpetual triumph on earth.  But, he does promise to reward it.  The task of the faithful is to see how He rewards it in whatever He does.

Tim Tebow is an exceptional man of faith who plays a boy's game on a big stage. Athletics magnifies his every accomplishment, and failure. Despite living under a microscope, Tebow unashamedly professes his belief in God, and fearlessly champions the causes he believes it obliges. He is a courageous man and extraordinary athlete of indomitable spirit.

Someday when Tebow hangs up his cleats, he'll be in a position to demonstrate his faith on an even bigger stage, the national political one.  If he pays as much attention to his mind as he does to his body, and applies it to current affairs, he'll be ready for the challenges and opportunity that his prowess and celebrity afford him.

Noman knows that God will not abandon him, and suspects that blessings will always be showered on so earnest and charitable a son. Our challenge--those of us who witness his heroics and follow his exploits--will be to see how God sends them regardless of the outcome of elections, or games.

Personally, Noman can't wait to vote for him.

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