In which I declare my undying love for Tim Tebow

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.


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24 responses to “In which I declare my undying love for Tim Tebow

  1. That is seriously cool. And I guess I’ll have to change my opinion of Florida, too.

  2. I am in the Tim Tebow fan club, too, sister.

    That entire family is a huge blessing to me. I had the privilege of meeting his sister a couple of years ago, and she is one of the most amazing women of God I have ever had the honor of knowing.

    God broke that mold with that family.

  3. Ok, coming from a Bama fan, I love Tim Tebow. And like you, I admire him NOT for football reasons. I knew there would be some great ending to the story and I was preparing myself not to tear up, but I went and did it anyway. Thanks for sharing that story.

  4. We’re Tennessee fans so I feel the same about any and all things Gator but I agree…thanks for sharing the story.

  5. Thanks for the goosebump moment…

    Amy

  6. That is an absolutely incredible story. My kids are PK’s. This story gives me hope that they won’t turn out to be wild rebels. 🙂 TK’s and PK’s. I really messed them up good, didn’t I? 😉

  7. As the mother of a CP kid, I am always so grateful for those special moments when people go out of their way to acknowledge and appreciate my kid (also now in his 20s). They are special people who stop for a moment and bring a smile to a special needs kid.

  8. don’t have many opinions about football either, but i am totally thrilled to know that you have an affinity for the razorbacks! i grew up in fayetteville and went to college there, call the hogs proudly (most of the time) and though i am not a missionary kids, i have some kids who are missionaries! am also being convinced by jack chaney that tim tebow is the real deal. didn’t know we had so much in common! where were you a missionary kid? (remember, i’m the totally random friend through candace- haha)

  9. We LOVE Tim Tebow! That is a great story. Not only was he a MK but he was also a homeschooled kid! Thanks for sharing

  10. I guess I’m even more non-sports than you because I’m having to deduct from your post that Tim Tebow played football for a Florida college and recently won the Heisman.(?) Either way, it blesses my day to hear such a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing!

  11. That is so precious.
    And if you had told me they left and went to Chick-Fil-A, that would have just done me in. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Okay, first I’m laughing at Melanie and the Chick-Fil-A comment. 🙂

    We NEVER, NEVER cheer for Florida in our house, but love Tim Tebow. I think he really is the real deal. My brother-in-law is in law enforcement and ran the security for the Tebow family at one of the football games this year. He said it was THE MOST enjoyable day of his career. He just enjoyed being in their presence, and He said they were nothing but kind and respectful all day.

  13. I’m in love… and now I know what state the Gators come from. And that they play football 😉

  14. This homeschooling Florida native LOVES Tim Tebow!

    Class act!

  15. Like Tebow, still hate Florida! The good thing is that now he is graduating and he won’t be at Florida anymore!

  16. SEriously, you need to come up with a little saying before these teary posts….

    Amazing!

  17. ok you know it hurts me to say that I like me some Tim Tebow – because I’m a Georgia Bulldog . . . but seriously he’s a good guy – this post might have brought a few tears to my eyes . . . thanks for sharing!

  18. Tim Tebow is the man. And his birth story is amazing. Did you know his mother was advised to abort the pregnancy?

    Jack has been on the Tebow train and telling me Tebow jokes for quite some time now.

    Tim Tebow can eat just one Lay’s Potato Chip. DO NOT tell Tim Tebow what he can’t do.

    Tim Tebow can touch MC Hammer.

    Tim Tebow doesn’t drink milk because if he did, he would kill anyone he touched.

    And then there’s this: http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=22513

    And I’m with you. I sure am glad he accepted that award in your honor. And won all those football games. Go gators. 🙂

  19. Running mascara alert.

    Beautiful, friend.

  20. I love that you shared that story…it makes me tear up and also so thankful to have someone to point my boys to as a great example. He is a great athlete. He is a leader. He has character and gives to his community. But best of all, he is a person following Christ.

  21. The best part of this story is that it is one of many. Various locations, different people one focus. Tebow is a better person than football player and that is what I really appreciate about him.

  22. We ALWAYS, ALWAYS root for Florida. 🙂 We’ve been in NC for 12 years – but we’re from Florida, and I went to UF, so we’re pretty die-hard Gator fans.

    Like another poster, I’m a home schooler – mom in this case – who has had a blast with this Gator team. More than that, though, is how nice it’s been to see all that Tebow does for others off the field. A true inspiration.

    Great story!

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