"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Through *His* Eyes

Football? Oh man! I used to love it. Of course I had my favorite team. The Seattle Seahawks. Yep! And I rarely missed a game. Now, this was a while ago. Back when it was Zorn and Largeant. Ha ha. Yes!! Now, that’s dating myself! But I understand the excitement and desire of wanting ones team to win. For whatever reason, I simply quit watching. I decided I was wasting too much time. I can honestly say, I don’t think I have sat through an entire game of football since, though I have watched parts of a Super Bowl or two.

Tonight though, I sat through an interview that Governor Mike Huckabee (FOX News) did with Tim Tebow - college football Star and Hesiman Trophy recipient. Tim originally caught my attention with the Super Bowl commercial he did with his mom, this year. To be quite honest, I had been so removed from football, that before the controversy which was created by that commercial, I didn’t even know who Tim Tebow was. Because Tim is a Christian, and he was making a statement about something I believe in, (pro-life and the value of every life) I started following Tim….but not his football career; rather, only his public appearances.

Anyway, he has personality that just won’t quit and he is very fun to watch. He has been on a book tour for his recently released autobiography Through My Eyes. When I first heard the title of his book, I thought to myself - that just doesn’t seem like a good title for a book about a star football player. Something like Dirt, Mud and Broken Bones seemed more appropriate in my mind. I even thought - well he is so popular, I guess he can name his book just about anything he would like.

I sat through this interview with great interest and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, especially the story Tim told about how he started putting Bible verse references under his eyes during a game. You know; and I’m sure you have seen how the players will put a black grease smudge under their eyes to deflect light while they are playing. Tim simply added a Scripture reference in the center of his. He started with Philippians 4:13, believing this to be his strength throughout the game. “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” His testimony about how he came to start doing this was very touching and very real. When Governor Huckabee asked him if he was worried about his teammates thinking he was “pushing religion on them”, Tim responded, “No, they know me; and this isn’t about me preaching my faith, but about me living it.” Something to that effect anyway, that is not an exact quote; but his answer was heartfelt and moving.

He continued to tell a story about those references under his eyes which he had become known for and fans had come to expect. He left Phil. 4:13 throughout that year and his team did well. Now if you are a football fan, you also know about the little superstitions many players and coaches have. For example, if one wore a particular set of socks on a winning game, the player had best not change those socks which by superstition could break a winning streak. Toward the end of the season, however, Tim felt impressed by the Lord to change that verse. He allowed the Philippians verse to stay one more game, feeling the final game would be the best and most natural time to change. He gave his coach a heads up.

“Nah, you don’t want to change it now!” his coach replied. But Tim assured him that he did and his coach finally relented saying, “Ok, I trust you. Do what you have to do.” For myself, I believe the Lord prompting Tim to change that verse was two-fold, one being to show we don’t need superstition for there is no truth in it.

While considering what verse to change to, Tim realized it should be John 3:16, the verse that is the basis for all Christianity. The “bare bones” of it, I guess you could say.

I believe Tim said they won that game. I will let you know after I read the book. But what I do remember from the interview, is that sometime after the game, (a couple days or so) statistics came out about the game. Tim was having dinner with his coach when the coach received a phone call. When he was finished with his call, Tim asked him about it.

“Apparently, 94 million people googled John 3:16 after the game that day,” the coach calmly stated.

94 million people read John 3:16 because of what Tim had done that day!! 94 million people heard the Gospel, simply because Tim is consistent in how he lives his faith and is obedient in following God’s prompting. Governor Huckabee commented during the interview that this little statistic broke a record with Google. Tim laughed and quipped, “I was just surprised there were 94 million people who didn’t already know what John 3:16 said."

What a story this young man has to tell! What a testimony his life is! This, beginning with his mother’s decision to not listen to the doctors, when they told her she should abort him in order to save her own life. Thank God she simply lived her faith and didn’t listen to those doctors, but rather to her own convictions.

I have a feeling this is just the beginning of this home-schooled boy's career and story. After surviving birth, playing college ball, winning the Heisman Trophy, and being selected by the Denver Broncos to play pro-ball I believe he is on his way to more great things. This isn’t the end of his story, by any means.

It isn’t the end of my story here, either. Matt was in town when I saw the interview. I called him and said, “Hey, while you’re in there, will you look to see if you can find a copy of Tim Tebow’s book Through My Eyes?” I was really in the mood to start a good book that evening and this one sounded perfect. One of those times that don’t happen very often, but I really wanted it NOW. :-)

He called me back and said, “No, sorry Mom, they don’t have it.” Disappointment set in, but that’s ok I’m a big girl, I knew I could wait.

When Matt got home, he had a twinkle in his eyes and a big smile on his face. From behind his back, he pulled out a copy of Through My Eyes. “Happy Belated Mother’s Day, Mom!” he told me.

I looked at the book, totally surprised….and pleased! It was also the first time I understood the title. Yeah, I can be a little slow on the up-take sometimes. It brought tears to my own eyes when I finally understood the meaning of Tim’s title. And there was my own son, laughing at me with a pleasure all his own at his gift to me.

I’m sure Mrs. Tebow would agree with me: Sometimes God gives us sons….

For God so love the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.   John 3:16

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