Today’s Large Man tale is likely to upset some of you. It might offend those of you who hold a strong Christian faith. I’m quite sure it will bother a few of my friends who are extremely anti-evangelical. Also, those of you who read The Large Man Chronicles to hear me talk about the comfort of the loving home that my wife has given me, the joy and satisfaction of my job, the sweetness of my children and the peace that they bring to my soul, and all the wonder and magic that I discover as I turn over another stone on this cobbled road we call “life” …yeah all that stuff, you guys are gonna be pissed off too.
What’s the deal with Tim Tebow? How does such a simple young man create such polar passion? Everybody except my football and common sense mentor, DJ, either loves him or hates him. I get the love, I LOVE watching this guy play football (well, if we exclude the first 51 minutes of every game he plays), but I don’t understand the hate.
It’s not that I’m above hate. I’m very capable of feeling and expressing hate. Hate is an ugly, ugly, awful word, but I hate. In the right context, I think it’s perfectly acceptable for a human to hate something. I hate any kind of cooked cabbage. I hate the way it smells, I hate the way it looks, I hate the taste, and I hate the way it feels in my cabbage – hating mouth! I hate the way I feel when somebody has invited me to their home for dinner, and only after I accept do I find out that they are having corned beef and cabbage. I hate it.
I’m not a theologian, or a teacher of the Gospel, and I’m only a casual student; but I don’t think Jesus hates, and I don’t think his Dad hates…probably not even cooked cabbage, but I don’t know these things, it’s just what I think. I don’t know exactly what the Bible teaches about this stuff either.(I am not currently a church goer) So much of it seems to be subject to the interpretation of the man or woman – the human, who is delivering the message, and I have trust issues with some of the messengers . I have some belief, but I don’t have a lot of faith in most messengers. This is tricky, but it’s mine, and I don’t care if you agree or disagree with my position on this matter. It’s mine.
However, I have faith in your faith. I believe in my friend Diane’s belief that Jesus is the path, an amazing chick named Natalie once told me that the easiest thing she has ever done was to turn her life over to her Lord; I believe Natalie too. I trust these messengers. Don’t get me started on Karen and Marty…I absolutely trust their faith; I enjoy being around them and seeing the peace that this faith brings. I believe all these people when they talk with me about their God because they believe; they’re not just hoping that it’s all true. There is some power in that for me.
I don’t know Tim Tebow, but I believe him too. Also, I don’t care. “Praise the Lord until your heart explodes with the glory of amazing Grace”, is what I say. I mean, if that’s what you want. But if you don’t, that’s cool too. I DON’T CARE. I can’t remember a time when someone else’s devotion to God has hurt me. I have no recollection of any interaction with a non-believer who has caused me harm based on their lack of faith either. Some of you readers may have a different story. The debate on where we should, or should not, display a manger scene could probably be inserted here…but it’s my blog, and we ain’t goin’ there. We’re not going there because both sides of this issue have a valid point.
A customer showed me a website today called “I Hate Tim Tebow” or some such nonsense. Hate? Really? I wonder how someone would hate another person for winning, for being an inspirational leader, or for looking good in a blue and orange football uniform.
Is it the whole Gator Nation thing? I kinda get that – I’ve never been a University of Florida fan, but only because I always liked Bobby Bowden (FL State head coach 1976 – 2009) and I thought Steve Spurrier (Gator coach 1989 -2002) seemed like kind of a dick. Or, is it the faith thing?
Why do people of extreme faith scare so many of us people who are unsure, or “not of” faith? Based on the body of work we’ve seen so far, Tebow isn’t Jimmy Swaggart. Tebow isn’t Jim Bakker. Tim Tebow isn’t a priest who molested children, he hasn’t burned or drowned an accused witch in the name of God, and he hasn’t made anyone wear a scarlet A on their sweater when they banged their psych professor (is that how that story goes?). Tebow hasn’t committed any of the atrocities that have been inflicted upon mankind in the name of Faith and God. In fact, in all my Tim Tebow research, I haven’t heard of him casting a single “stone” or judgment outward towards anybody…he doesn’t even complain about refs or the balls that his below average receiving corps consistently drop. Tim Tebow doesn’t go on TV and ask you for money so he can line his already well lined coffers, he does raise money for Christian based charities…and he gave like a gazillion dollars of his own money to help build a hospital for critical care and needy kids in the Philippines; I guess some people might think that’s kind of a dick move.
Also, and this is kinda funny, based on the body of work we’ve seen so far, he isn’t a very good NFL quarterback either. He isn’t able to consistently decipher a zip read, and he seems to have difficulty with accuracy on most of the timing routes – like a 15 yard out. Tebow’s “Mike” or blitz recognition is suspect to say the least, this has him forever fleeing the pocket prematurely, and he seems to suffer from a brain freeze at the sight of a Tampa 2 defense. This is funny because no player that I can recall has been as consistently bad as Tebow…I mean it; this dude really sucks as a quarterback…most of the time. For three 15 minute quarters, and for 10 minutes of the fourth quarter you wonder how he was ever even successful in high school. And then the magic happens, down by 13 points against a top NFL defense…with only 3 minutes left in the game, Tebow somehow turns it into a Denver Broncos overtime victory 16 -13.
Can I get an AMEN! Or a HOLY SHIT!
I love magic! I love watching magic acts; I don’t care what the trick is – it’s MAGIC! I don’t think that because God knows that Tim Tebow is going to thank Him for the victory after the game, “First and Foremost…” that He forces Marion Barber to run out-of-bounds or fumble. I don’t think God makes Miami or Detroit kickers miss field goals so He can hear Tim Tebow give Jesus credit for his good fortune. I think God is comfortable enough in his own image that he doesn’t really care if Timmy brings Him up or not. That’s what I think, but I don’t know. I wonder how Tebow will start an interview after he loses a game. (IF he ever loses again – that’s a big IF) Will he thank “Jesus Christ his Savior…” for the…the loss? I don’t know how he’s going to handle that, but I don’t care. It’s fun to watch.
Here is what I do know; true leaders, wholesome heroes, and genuine articles of any kind are rare. Tebow seems to be all of these things. Tebow has a strong faith in God, but he has a strong, non-arrogant faith in himself too. This is a nice lesson for our youth – shoot…this is a nice lesson for ME! In every conversation about his shortcomings, he humbly expresses how his teammates “lift him up”, and how he will “work hard” to improve his game. I don’t know about you people, but I think I would like to work on a team being led by someone like that.
I got a mini lecture from a Facebook commenter when I posted on my page that Tebow was a hero:
(Paraphrasing) “Heroes don’t play [sports]…heroes save people from burning buildings…fight for our freedom overseas”
Yes they do – I couldn’t agree more, but heroes are not limited to only those roles. Heroes inspire people; heroes tell you that they know you can when you think you can’t, heroes can be people who hold themselves accountable in the face of adversity, and heroes build hospitals for kids in underdeveloped countries. I don’t need someone to tell me what a hero is; I’ve seen more than a few, and I know them when I see them. Tim Tebow is a hero; a big, good looking, Christian, non-quarterback playing, Florida-friggin-Gator, winning, hero…I love this kid.
Hate Tim Tebow? Really? It almost seems to me that if you hate this guy, you’re just looking for someone to hate. Don’t hate the player, or the person, or the Faith…hate the game. Hate the cabbage.
Hopefully there will be a “next time”, until then…
Thanks for reading.