What I Love about Tim Tebow and the Freedom to be Oneself

I’m still recovering from what I saw last night in the Jets-Broncos game.  It was inexplicable.  The Broncos offense was completely stalled for the entire game (credit can be given to the Jets D), and then all of a sudden Tim Tebow was in the end zone.  Wow.

I know many people have written about Tim Tebow and it’s well-known why the guy is so admired apart from his football winning ways.  He’s a devout Christian, he’s helped build a hospital in the Philippines, he’s really kind and hard-working, he’s a virgin.  Even non-Christian pro-choice folks can respect what he stands for, although I’m sure many people wonder if he’s for real.

What is Tebowing? (vb) to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.

But the moment from last night’s game that stands out to me is related to a recent internet craze that has involved Tebow.

A few weeks ago, a website was created in response to something that Tebow tends to do during games – get down on one knee and pray.  The term for this action has been dubbed “Tebowing“, and it means “to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.”

If you visit the site, it’s pretty hilarious.  Tina thinks it’s the funniest thing ever.

One opponent from the Lions even taunted Tebow (in good fun) with the pose after he sacked him.  Tebow wasn’t offended but laughed it off.

It’s actually all quite amusing.

One Lions Player started tebowing after he sacked Tim Tebow!

So here’s the thing, in last night’s game, Tebow leads this improbable, miraculous comeback.  Most of us watching couldn’t believe what we were seeing.  It was like all of a sudden, it was “Tebow Time” and therefore he was going to go win the game, even though he hadn’t done much the rest of the time.  As a Jet sympathizer, I felt pretty helpless.

Tebow scores on a 20-yard scamper and the entire stadium goes bonkers.  The sideline is going crazy and people are mauling Tebow for his efforts.  The national TV audience is in shock, disbelief, and shake-my-head wonderment.

So what does Tebow do?

He starts tebowing on the sideline.

Some might say, “Oh, it’s so cliche!  He’s just showing off his faith!  How can he do that when so many people make fun of him for it?!”

I know I was saying, “I can’t believe he’s tebowing after that!”

Is Tim Tebow really tebowing against the Jets after all that? Why yes!

I know if I were in his shoes, I probably never would have been caught tebowing again, because I care too much about what other people think of me.  I care too much about coming off too holy, or too fake, or too disingenuous.  I’m so image conscious and sometimes I care too much about coming off “too cool for school”.

But not Tebow.  He’s somehow so free to be himself that he can continue tebowing, and even laugh about all the ways people poke fun at him.

And that’s what I love about Tim Tebow.

Sure, it’s impossible for him to win every game, and he’ll go through even more adversity as is common to life, but Tim Tebow somehow feels so free to be himself in light of everything else going on around him.

Tim Tebow is secure enough to keep tebowing.

Freedom and security to be oneself.

I wonder where that comes from…

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8 responses to “What I Love about Tim Tebow and the Freedom to be Oneself

  1. Ah! I love this. I also struggle a lot with caring way too much about what other people think of me – too religious, too radical, too liberal, and what’s with all the crazy dancing?! There’s such a dance, always, in conversations between what I want to say/do/present, and what I think I should say/do/present, and what I’m scared of in the other person’s potential reaction. Struggle on, Drew, your reflections are an inspiration to us all 🙂

  2. Seriously, I was so so confused last night about everything that went down the last few minutes. I had never heard about Tebow before so I was like… what is he doing? He should be like reveling in the praise of the moment. Then I saw the group of guys at the end on their knees, Jets and Broncos, hand in hand, praying together. I’ve heard prayer is common in football, but I never saw it on air like that. That is AWESOME.

  3. Well put Drew.

  4. Wow, that is pretty awesome!

  5. thanks for the comments, everyone. tebow is an unabashed tebowing sensation.

  6. I had similar thoughts Free, and take it as a challenge. I am now asking myself how I should be brave enough to be “out there” even if I have a much smaller platform. People ridicule and criticize Tebow, but they know what he’s about. if even one person comes to faith because of it, it’s all worth it.

  7. Pingback: Why Tim Tebow is Good for the Jets | while waiting

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