Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thanks, Tim Tebow

Whipped by the wind, the water is wild at Fogland State Beach, smashing into rocks and spewing white spray everywhere.

I spot new construction at the Point, a good sign in this sluggish market. But what jumps out at me on this bitter January morning is the roof frame, held up by a cross beam.

This gets me thinking about spirituality and how it holds us up when the winds of fortune batter us about.

The media is still abuzz with news about Broncos Quarterback Tim Tebow and his miraculous ascent to the playoffs, despite his loss to the Patriots. Taking a knee in the parlance of the game will never mean the same again.

Facing the opponent and the vagaries of the often brutal game, Tebow drops to one knee, with his elbow on the other knee, places fist to forehead and prays on the football field, seemingly unaware of his surroundings – even in the midst of 68,756 screaming fans at Gillette Stadium – as he communicates with his God.

While this outward sign of faith has become a worldwide phenomenon, it is Tebow’s own words in a constant barrage of interviews that best relate his innate spirituality.

Bated and battered with questions from reporters about his unlikely rise to superstardom, Tebow answered candidly, admitting his faults, praising and encouraging his teammates even after they dropped the ball, and stressing that he will continue to try his best with the help of Jesus.

When asked about his future plans before the playoff game, he told the reporter:  “It’s definitely not Super Bowl or bust. … Whatever happens, I’ll definitely count this season as a blessing and I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

Perhaps this statement reveals the secret to his success.

Whether he’s Tebowing before the game or after a touchdown pass, or answering another tough question in front of a camera, he always gives thanks.

Philosopher, medical missionary and theologian Albert Schweitzer in “Reverence for Life” wrote: “The great thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live… He has penetrated the whole mystery of life: giving thanks for everything.”

Many great athletes behave badly, and this season Tebow offered fans an alternative: someone with integrity. Tapping into the Source of his strength, he gives his all and is full of thanks whatever the outcome.

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world,” said author Sarah Ban Breathnach.

The wind lobbing sand at the windshield finally gets my attention, and before I drive away, I pause and give thanks for windy winter beaches, soaring surf, faith, football and Tim Tebow.

It’s just too cold to take a knee. 

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