Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…


“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”  1 John 5: 21 (NIV)


Wow!  How about those headlines!

There it was, on the front page of the A-section of the Sunday edition of The Gainesville Sun newspaper.  The headline of the article, set just below-the-fold, read:

“Poll:  Tebow 3rd most influential athlete in U.S.”

Such a result is admirable and remarkable. 

But it’s not admirable and remarkable because of his finish close behind the likes of Lance Armstrong and LeBron James.  Instead, it’s because in the world of professional football, where Tim is headed shortly as the twenty-fifth pick by the Denver Broncos in the first round of this year’s NFL draft, Tim Tebow hasn’t played a down.  Tim Tebow hasn’t gathered a huddle together in the NFL, called a play, thrown a pass or run over a linebacker for a first down.  He hasn’t even showcased his classic fake-the-run-jump-pass-for-a-touchdown yet.

So from where does his influence come—landing him in third place among the most influential athletes in the nation?  What is it that causes those polled to call his name up so often?  What is it that causes young girls to propose offers of marriage—even sight-unseen? 

Is it the eye-black we remember pasted under his eyes, before every college game he played, with the scripture verse John 3:16 or some other scripture of choice for that day?  Maybe.  Was it stating in public that he was a virgin?  Maybe.  Praying before, during and after games by himself and with his teammates and coaches?  Maybe.  Unashamedly expressing his faith in Jesus Christ?  Maybe?  Missionary work overseas?  Maybe.  Answering every question asked of him—even though it was the tenth-time?  Maybe.  Hugging his Mother in public?  No doubt about it!

In our world of sports with idols and platforms and winning and money, it’s refreshing to see something different.  In a world of sports centered around me instead of we, and more money is better, yearly expectancies of championships, building luxury boxes on the sides of stadiums until they blot out the sun, expanding trophy cases with championship hardware, and other idols which our society looks up to and aspires to be a part of—it is refreshing to see something different.  Much different.  Even if he didn’t make number one on the list, no doubt, because of the remarkable qualities of those on the list ranked ahead of him. 

But it’s refreshing to see someone we can look up to still cry on the sidelines, hug his mother, unashamedly pray with teammates, share scripture for ninety-million to read, and spend time in the poorest parts of the world with some precious children the world may have forgotten, but whom God—and Tim—hasn’t forgotten.

Third most influential.  Tim wouldn’t say anything—but why so low?


                                                            In His Name—Scott


Copyright 2010.  Scott L. Whitaker.  All rights reserved.