I must admit that I am not a Denver Bronco’s fan. It’s simply not possible since the maternal side of my genetic code comes from San Diego. I live in Phoenix these days but I can’t escape my pedigree and admitting to being a Bronco’s fan when you were born in America’s finest city would be a little like admitting you are rooting for Al Queda.
At least, that’s what San Diego Charger’s fans think.
Fortunately the other half of my genetic code comes from British Columbia, Canada so I can admit to being a Tim Tebow fan. I mean, you just gotta love this guy even though he is wearing the wrong jersey.
There’s a sentiment out there today that Christian men are somehow not “real” men. It’s as if we are expected to be wimp-level hypocrites that cry over sunshine and spilled milkshakes. We are never supposed to be aggressive, or love the sting of battle and we’re certainly never allowed to break wind – at least in public.
But growing up, I learned from my dad that a man could be a Christian and be just as tough as any other logger in the business. My dad didn’t stand for sniveling. He taught me that being as tough as a leather boot was what God expected from a man, but God didn’t approve of meanness either. He taught me to help the guy who’s down, even if he’s an enemy. But most of all he taught me to honor God and give everything I had to what I was doing because you only get one shot at making any kind of difference in this world. “So make it count, son”.
That’s why I admire Tebow. He’s a Christian. And he’s a man. It didn’t matter when his team was down 15 points in the 4th quarter with three minutes to go and no NFL team had ever come back from that kind of a deficit. It didn’t matter because Tebow knew what it meant to throw himself headlong into the cause. Two touchdowns, a two point conversion in under three minutes later and the Broncos took Miami into overtime to win it all.
So, win or lose the next time he plays, Tebow still knows what it means to honor God and give everything he has to what he’s doing.
Just like my dad.
My dad was never a sports fan. In fact, he discouraged all forms of organized sports when I was a kid. He particularly didn’t like football. He just couldn’t understand why someone would voluntarily get beaten nearly half to death fighting over a stupid ball. But he did understand what it meant to stand for what you believe in by your actions, not just words. This is why he’s volunteered to speak in prisons for twenty five years. This is why he’s gone on more than twenty short term mission trips all over the world. This is why he works with the Gideon’s passing out Bibles and believe me – he’s taken his fair share of ridicule, insults and he’s been spit on for passing out those Bible’s too. Sort of like the flak Tebow has taken for praying.
And me? Well, I’ve never amounted to much in terms of adoring fans and probably never will. But when I suddenly became a single parent with three children all under the age of six, I made up my mind to take care of my kids and follow the Lord instead of bailing out on them and chasing skirts. It sure looked like 4th quarter and 15 points down for me in my darkest hour. But Jesus didn’t pale when he faced the cross. He taught me and my Dad and Tebow what it means to suck it up and dig in, 4th quarter or not. He taught us to what it means to be Christian men, not wimps.
So, my dad is never going to win a Heisman trophy and neither am I. He’s a retired teacher and a part-time tree trimmer. I’m just the pastor of a tiny church you’ve never heard of and I write stories about men of character and determination on Kindle.
But Tebow has to face a crowd that can be adoring one minute and ready to sacrifice him to the lions the next. Next season, the Broncos may win. They may lose. But either way, Tebow’s already proven he’s a man of God and that makes him worthy of respect – win or lose.
I guess, in the end, we can all learn from Tebow and my dad. All of us can make up our minds to stand up for God no matter what the critics say, no matter what the circumstances and we can be men (and women) of character too. So – since I can’t say Go Broncos, I’ll just say “G-B-1”.
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“Legend” (Kindle price $1.99, http://amzn.to/uwHATL) A full length, Christian Suspense Thriller.
“Someone’s Making a Monkey Out of You” (Kindle price $2.99, hard copy $9.95, http://amzn.to/snubN1). Why Evolution is science FICTION. Foreword by Dr. Duane T. Gish, Vice Presidend emeritus, Institute for Creation Research, Dallas TX.