But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I Samuel 16:7
I know nothing about college football other than how to call the Hogs. I don’t study the sports page, I barely keep up with coaching changes, ESPN is a four letter word to me, and unless the Razorbacks, OU, or UT are in a bowl game, I don’t huddle around the television in January.
I huddle around the chip bowl.
My lack of interest, however, doesn’t mean that I am uninformed about which teams to love or hate, and for years, I’ve had an intense dislike for any football team to come out of Florida.
Until Tim Tebow came along.
It has pained me greatly to root for Florida these last few years, but I’ve had to set aside my prejudice for one reason alone. You see, Tim Tebow is a missionary kid, and I’m a missionary kid. I don’t know him personally, but because there aren’t that many of us weird little MK’s running around, I feel an affinity towards him and a strange sense of pride for what he’s accomplished.
I really appreciate him accepting that Heisman for me.
I always thought that I most admired how he unappologetically lives his faith and demonstrates his commitment to his Creator on a very public stage, but this week I heard a story about his character in a private moment, away from the spotlight, that sealed my opinion of him.
We have friends (real friends – in our wedding party) who have a nephew who has cerebral palsy. He’s in his early twenties and lives with a full-time caregiver. Our friends are actively involved with him, stop by to visit, take him to events, and do a lot to make his life experience a rich one. Recently, they took him to the Florida campus for a Gators football game. As a special treat, since he’s such a big fan of their program, they arranged for a visit with Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow. I thought it was really nice of them to make time for him, but that’s not where the story ends.
On game day, the wheelchair for this young man (did I mention his name is Travis?) was rolled into a special handicapped section near the tunnel where the players were going to enter the field. This was a special day for Tim Tebow, and Travis didn’t want to miss it. Tebow would be taking his final Gator Walk at his last home game at the University of Florida. This was his moment to shine.
The seniors walked out.
The crowd roared.
I’m sure many chests were swelling with pride and emotion at the significance of the day.
But the one person who could have stood there, soaking in the public accolades for his accomplishments on the field?
He was oblivious to the clamoring throngs.
He was on the sidelines with a young man named Travis, laying hands of benediction on his head, and whispering in his ear, “God bless you, Travis.”
Have a nice day, and though it cost me blog readers, Go Gators.