Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Love and Hatred of Tim Tebow

I have looked my cynicism in the face and I don’t like it. Let’s be honest - I love sarcasm, love cynical commentary, love the way my generation thinks most of the time. The search for the authentic, the desire to question everything, the true pursuit of truth, I love those things. The desire for things that are not flashy or gaudy we want real… those are the things that I value, the things that “x’ers” value.

Enter in Tim Tebow. We hate him. I know there is a love/hate affair with him right now, but I bet if you polled Christian leaders in their 30’s, at best most would roll their eyes at Tebowmania. I get it, he prays during the football game. I mean, the whole game. Tebowing is a “thing” cause that really is what he does on the sideline. Come one, everyone knows that God doesn’t care who wins a football game… and it appears that he is praying for his team to win (and he may be). I get it. I think the same thing – repeatedly. He comes off as goofy during his interviews sometimes… it’s like he’s scripted it, “First, I want to thank Jesus, and my teammates, etc. “ I guess we mix that, with the fact that he has some shortcomings at QB, and the fact that he’s everywhere we turn, cause us to dislike the man.

Why? I have a suspicion that the reason is because we realize that right now he is the face of evangelism… and he’s not like us. He isn’t parked in a coffee-shop, doesn’t have the cool glasses, isn’t calling every Christian leader into question, and he doesn’t seem to care to prove he’s better than his critics say he is. We hate Tim because he’s not like us, yet he represents us.

I have to tell myself to get over it. The man is a bit over the top, yes, but he is using his platform to represent Christ the way he knows how to. No, his faith and techniques of evangelism may not be as “mature” as mine, whatever that means. However, it seems as if, as much as I hate to admit it, that it is authentic. Win or lose he thanks God. Win or lose he is gracious. Win or lose he thanks the Lord and his teammates for allowing him to get paid to play a child’s game. The same shtick… for the last 6 or 7 years. Talk about consistency, talk about authentic, he is. I guess my problem has been he is not “authentic” the way “I” would be. Lord, have mercy on me.
The man built a hospital in the Philippines for Cure. Cure helps sick children in countries where there is no one to help, where when women and children get sick, they die. The man does thank God for the ability to play a game, sometimes well and sometimes not well, every time. He desires to hang out with those “less fortunate” than him – the sick, the handicapped, the broken. He does turn the other cheek when people speak out against him, and he seems to fight the urge to “repay evil for evil.” And he does try and use his platform to further the Kingdom.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is that against my very nature, I am a Tim Tebow fan. I will root for him (unless he’s playing my bucs) for as long as he is able to play. And yet I realize that he is human. He is fallible. He is fallen. His image right now is “squeaky” clean, yet he is still a sinner. Hopefully not, but there may come a day when he is caught up in sin publically. I guess my hope is that I won’t take that as my chance to say, “Aha!” and scoff with the scoffers. I guess if and when he falls that may be the time that I should root for him the most.