Sports - Football
Tim Tebow: Glorifying God
By Shawn Brown
Denver Broncos Tim Tebow made his mark in college football as a University of Florida Gator with his strong arm and gritty play. He also turned heads by his unwavering and bold Christian faith. The son of Christian missionaries, he’s become one of the most influential athletes in college and professional sports.
Tim’s journey began with a life threatening decision his mom made before he was born.
Shawn: “Your mother is pregnant with you there are some complications. Can you tell me a little bit about those complications?”
Tim: “I have a very courageous mother, who in front of a lot of doctors telling her that she needs to have a an abortion with me, for saying that it’s not wise to keep this baby/tumor uh is what they thought I was, and come to find out after I was born that they found out that it was just a tiny piece of placenta was attached uh, for the whole pregnancy. So it really was um, just god that pulled me through.”
Shawn: “Your mom, she had a choice to make.”
Tim: “But at the end of the day, it wasn’t a choice for her. It wasn’t a choice. She was never going to choose not to give me a chance. She was always determined, no matter what the outcome was, that she that she was going to give me a chance because it was already predetermined in her mind, the grace and the amazingness of God and how he can do anything and she was going to trust him with it.”
He was born Timothy Richard Tebow. When Tim was three, his parents moved the family to Duvall County in Florida. While his dad continued in ministry, his mom homeschooled Tim and his four siblings. Tim says growing up in a full house was fun, but also challenging.
Shawn: “Talk about the homeschooling experience and what it has meant to you and your family.”
Tim: “Well, homeschooling was wonderful for us. Mom was so amazing keeping all the kids, especially when you had five kids in the house at one time. She just did an amazing job just keeping everybody focused and doing his or her schoolwork. And sometimes there were things that were more important than learning math or writing another essay. And that was learning character, learning strength, learning honor, learning to do the right thing, learning to treat others the way you wanted to be treated. And that was something huge for us. It was huge to read the Proverb of the morning. It was huge to read the Psalm of the day every morning. And get that in us to get our day going before anything else started.”
Tim accepted Christ when he was 7 years old.
Tim: “I had been going to church and talking to my mom and dad and I wanted to trust Christ with my life. And I was thinking, you know, if I get in a car wreck the next day and we get in a car crash and I die, I don’t think I’m going to heaven. And I was scared. And so the next morning I woke up and I grabbed my mom and I went to the couch and I said mom, I want to ask Jesus to come into my heart and forgive me of my sins an make me a child of god. And from that instant I knew I went from darkness to light.”
As Tim grew up, he says he became extremely competitive. He played baseball, basketball, and football. But it was something about playing football that he couldn’t get anywhere else.
Tim: “I knew I loved football before I even played it. Uh but the first time I stepped out on the field playing for the Lakesore Redskins, I knew that I loved this game. I knew that this was something I wanted to do. And I was only 6 years old, but I loved it. And it wasn’t because it was easy or it was fun or it came easy to me, but it was just something about the position, about when you’re in the huddle, all of those ten guys are looking at you. And when you go to the line of scrimmage, everybody’s depending on you. And it’s your responsibility. And if you fail, it’s on you, not anyone else. And I just kind of like that pressure about it. And just what the quarterback position brings. Either you’re the hero or the goat. The pressure is on you. And every situation, I wanted that, the ball in my hands at the end of the game, because I wanted that pressure.”
Tim’s desire to want to be the hero is what eventually led him to the University of Florida, and he says that’s where football became his platform.
Tim: “What’s so amazing in today’s society is people look up to football players. And as football player, you have a platform. And its so much more important than any touchdown or trophy or anything you could win with football. Its taking that platform and be able to influence people. And my dad told me at an early age, he said you know Brett Favre can go into any school and share any message he wants around the country, around the world. He said when you’re in that position, you can go and you can share your message anywhere. And that was something that really hit me and its something he shared with me a lot.”
Shawn: “Do you hear you father’s voice saying, ‘that’s going to be you one day going into the high schools and places speaking,’ do you hear your dad?”
Tim: “Yes, without a doubt, absolutely. And it’s something we still talk about. He would always share with me about the platform I have to make a difference. And something that was awesome that I did in college was I had such a great relationship with Shand’s hospital there. And I could go every week, mostly on Wednesdays, and go in to the hospitals and visit every kid in the hospital, and it was something that I could do because I was the quarterback at the University of Florida. I had the opportunity to go into the hospitals and talk to kids and see a kid and make him smile. Why? Because I’m a special person? No. It had nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with me being the quarterback at the University of Florida. And to not take advantage of that is a shame.”
From 2006-2009, Tim had a stellar college career. Within those four years he won the Heisman, helped lead the team to 2 SEC Championships and 2 BCS Championships. Then in 2010 he was selected 25th overall in the NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.
By the end of the season Tim was named the starting quarterback. As he approaches his sophomore season in the NFL, you’ll probably find in him the gym or working for his charity the Tim Tebow foundation. He’s also written a book entitled, Through My Eyes. He says that while fans may see him as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos, he hopes they also see reflection of God’s love.
Tim: “Well, when people meet me, I hope that they say this-this is a guy who, number one, loves the lord, but he also loves people and he wants to make a difference in people’s life. And he wants to help everyone he comes in contact with and he is genuine, he is real, and he cares about people. And it’s not about the scoring touchdowns, or being famous, or anything like that. But its about relationships, its about making a difference in people’s lives, and at the end of the day it’s about glorifying God.”
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