God doesn’t play favorites. We all know that, right? I mean, the Bible’s clear on this. God loves everyone the same and wants us all to be saved and know His truth (1 Timothy 2:4). Jesus stood on a mountainside in Galilee and clarified this when He said that God, “…causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:46) —meaning that (in all things) God uses a level playing field. And that includes everyone; those who love and obey Him…and those who deny He even exists. That being said, I have two words for you:
I mean, c’mon! On any given Sunday (and on ESPN on Monday nights) the Astroturf of every American football field is filled with the righteous and unrighteous. From A to Z (or A to W, actually). From the Arizona Cardinals to the Washington Redskins, every pro football team has its share of players who point to heaven and thank God for every tackle and yard gained and, likewise, every team has its share of players who use God’s name in vain as frequently as the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders show off their belly buttons.
But then there’s Tim Tebow. He of the controversial post-game, on-bended-knee, prayer and the spectacular, beyond belief, 4th quarter, last-minute victory.
And after watching him lead the Broncos to (yet) ANOTHER overtime win this past Sunday afternoon, I have to admit…it caused me to question the whole righteous and unrighteous stuff for a second. Now wait…I still firmly believe that God rules with sovereignty and justice over all His creation, but watching the Broncos beat the Bears in overtime Sunday caused me to wonder if maybe God doesn’t have a little “Tebow Fever” Himself. And I know I’m not the only one thinking that. You too?
All kidding aside, I don’t think God has been reaching down from heaven to help the Broncos win…and neither does Tim Tebow. It’s evident in every post-game press conference I’ve seen or heard. Yes. Tim Tebow is very outspoken about his faith in Jesus, but I have yet to hear him say that God won a game for him. Instead, Tebow’s quick to thank Jesus for the opportunity and ability to play…and equally quick to thank his teammates for the win. And I have a strong feeling that when he loses (which is bound to eventually happen, guys) ,Tim Tebow will be just as gracious to his teammates…and just as thankful to Jesus in defeat as he is in victory.
It’s obvious that Tim Tebow loves to play football, and when he does, I can’t help but be reminded of two things…the first is what Paul writes in Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
The second thing I think of comes from one of my favorite sports movies, Chariots of Fire—based on the real-life events of two British runners in the 1924 Olympics. One runner, Eric Liddell, was a Christian who ran the 100 meters. In the movie, Liddell’s faith is questioned by his sister because he’s chosen to run in the Olympics instead of entering the mission field. In that scene Liddell tells his sister, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”Isn’t that great? And can’t you just hear something like that coming out of Tim Tebow’s mouth at a press conference?
The real truth is, God made all of us (Tim Tebow included) for a purpose. But God also made us (Take your pick) smart, strong, talented, wise, thoughtful, funny, compassionate, etc. The question is…are you fulfilling what God made you for? And are you feeling His pleasure? Tim Tebow reminds me just how fun and various God is with His creation…and how I need to exhaust all He has given me…to fulfill my purpose…and to feel His pleasure.
So…do I think God is winning games for Tim Tebow? No. Not at all! Actually, the only miracle I see happening in this amazing season with Tim Tebow and the Broncos is this: a die-hard Cleveland Browns fan like me (who is STILL smarting from Elway and The Drive) might actually don the blue and orange and root for the Denver Broncos. Now THAT, my friends, would be a miracle!