As our recent poll results indicate, only 3% of the blog’s readers are young people (18 years old or younger), so I hope you parents and leaders will share this post with the youth. 

I was impressed last night as I learned about University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow while I watched the college football national championship game.  If any of you are wondering how a true college football fan could just now be learning about Tim Tebow, then I’ll have to admit it, I’m not a huge fan of college football in general, but I am a big fan of BYU football.  Anyway, as I heard the television commentators talk about Tim Tebow, I was impressed about how they lauded his performance on the field, but gave him even more praise for his accomplishments off the field.  So I began to research (that’s my analyst nature coming out) this young man, and I found him to be an extraordinary example for our youth of faith, of priorities, of humility, of love of God and love of all mankind. 

Tim Tebow won his second college football national championship yesterday.  His first was in 2006, when the Florida Gators won it all.  As a freshman that season, Tebow was used largely as a change of pace to the Florida Gators’ starting quarterback, Chris Leak.  During his sophomore season, Tebow won the starting position and was the first college football player to both rush and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season and was the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.  During his sophomore in the 2007, he also broke many SEC (Southeastern Conference) records including for both rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns in a single season. In addition to the Heisman Trophy, his performance in 2007 also earned him the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top football player, the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s best quarterback, and the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation’s most outstanding amateur athlete in any sport.  Add to his resume a national championship now for the 2008 season as the starting quarterback and leader of the team. 

As impressive as these sports achievements are, what is more impressive is Tim Tebow’s dedication to faith and family.  Born to Christian missionaries Bob and Pam Tebow, who were at the time serving in the Philippines, Tim said in a recent interview (which can be seen in the video clip below) that his priorities in life are first his faith, then his family, then his academic studies and then football.  Tim’s mother suffered health problems, an infection with a pathogenic amoeba, when she was pregnant with him, and an abortion was recommended by her doctors.  Tim’s parents nearly lost him several times, and they prayed that if the Lord would give them a healthy child, they would raise him to preach the Lord’s words and serve His children.  And true to that promise, Tim Tebow spent the last three summers before enrolling at the University of Florida in the Philippines, assisting with his father’s orphanage and missionary work, and he continues to be involved in selfless service.tebow

Another couple of things, and I’ll wrap up with these, that impressed me about Tim Tebow happened during his post game interview last night. You can’t see it extremely well in the photo here, but written in white on the black strip under his eyes is the scripture reference to John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  As the TV announcer approached him and congratulated him on being named the game’s most valuable player, the first thing out of Tim Tebow’s mouth was to thank his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What a great example this is to our youth, to show how they can pursue excellence in whatever their chosen field: sports, academics, music, art, and other wholesome pursuits.  And they can achieve great results without compromising their faith, and in fact, their performance will no doubt be even more blessed as they prioritize faith, family and service to others foremost in their lives.

Click here to view the embedded video. Click here to view the embedded video.
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