better than you think

[I am trying to hate Tim Tebow]. I’m sure he is a fine Christian man, but a couple of years ago his Florida Gators defeated my Ohio State Buckeyes in the national championship game, turning a proud program and sweater vest into the laughingstock of the SEC.

OSU is the only one of my teams to win a championship in my lifetime (and we only won that after we had lost), so you’ll understand if [I cannot forgive Tebow] for destroying the last refuge for sports fans in Northeast Ohio.

Last week I was driving to beautiful Traverse City when I heard a few minutes of Tebow’s interview with Dan Patrick. Patrick inquired about his faith, and I waited for Tebow to embarrass himself with some vague blather about the power of belief in a generic god. But he didn’t. Tebow boldly yet humbly explained that his faith in Jesus Christ is the most important thing in his life.

Then Patrick asked about his visits to death row, and I grudgingly had to admit that Tebow is a smidge superior to Maurice Clarett (who he may have met while visiting the prison). Tebow said that he tells the inmates that all is not lost simply because they performed miserably during the first 3 quarters of their earthly life. The 4th quarter is where games are won, and they can still finish strong and prepare themselves for eternity.

I was impressed by Tebow’s answer, but I don’t think it goes far enough. Besides the fact that the SEC usually puts away Ohio State before halftime, Tebow—like most evangelicals—was strangely silent on the Christian hope for the New Earth. Wouldn’t it be even more encouraging—and true—if Tebow had told the inmates that those who put their faith in Christ don’t merely get an advance start on the next life, but they are given the privilege to return to this Earth and live markedly better than on their first trip? It’s not the same as receiving a mulligan, for our life now counts and has lasting consequences, but it is an opportunity to live as a flourishing human on this planet as God intended.

Tebow may be the best quarterback on the best team in the best conference, but [he sure is dumb]. We may not be able to beat him, but at least we’ll always have Michigan (so says the media guide at Appalachian State).

15 Comments

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  1. Jonathan Shelley July 31, 2009 — 7:45 am

    You are trying to hate Tim Tebow??? Do you need help?

  2. Let’s leave Michigan out of this. Ohio State still has a LONG way to go to catch Michigan in the win column… and we all know they can’t stay down for long.

  3. I read the artcile in the latest Sports Illustrated on Tebow. It was focused on his faith and his prison ministry. I too was disappointed to learn that he was a good guy. There is a difference between not hating a guy and rooting for him though. I will never root for him, but I will not hate him either.

    You should send him a copy of your book. I bet he has no idea how the new earth even relates to his future. If he is going to be preaching the gospel in his free time, it may as well be correct.

  4. I’m with Tim. I don’t believe most Christians have a clue how to talk about the new heavens and the new earth. Tebow seems like a reasonably intelligent person. Let him read “Heaven is a Place on Earth”.

    Maybe he will put a plug in for it…

    It might become bigger than “The Purpose Driven Life”…

    Then how will you feel about him?

  5. [I can follow this blog because I totally know what’s going on in college football.]

  6. I don’t know about sending Tebow a copy of the book. On top of his football practices and his evangelism efforts, he has his “rigorous and demanding” class schedule. I’m sure he can hardly find a spare minute to read a book🙂

  7. Jonathan Shelley July 31, 2009 — 2:40 pm

    Mike:

    Maybe you’d feel better if you came over and watched the Tigers find new and interesting ways to lose to the Indians this weekend. I’m sure that watching Sizemore take All-Star Edwin Jackson deep a couple of times tonight would put a smile on your face.

  8. I don’t hate Tim Tebow either, but Michigan didn’t have the problems with him that OSU had.

  9. Mike,

    Are you allowed to plug more than one book on this blog? In addition, will we be spared the boredom of football on the new earth?

  10. Jack:

    If by football you mean soccer, than the answer is yes.

    Jonathan:

    Sorry that the Tigers missed the Indians’ fire sale. Sizemore is the only major leaguer we’ve got left, so unless he hits a homerun, he isn’t going to score.

    Eric S.

    Congratulations on not having problems with Tebow. Now if Michigan can only solve that QB who plays for Toledo.

  11. Jonathan Shelley August 3, 2009 — 8:47 am

    Mike:

    Would you like to revise your statement regarding Sizemore in light of the last three games? Sizemore scored in the first inning of the first game off of Cabrera’s homer. And keep in mind that the Tigers only avoided the sweep because Veras balked in a run in the 12th.

  12. But Jonathan, the game would have been over in the 9th in Leyland knew how to handle pitchers. He never should have taken Porcello out of the game.

  13. Jonathan Shelley August 3, 2009 — 10:42 am

    Steve:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. As soon as Rodney came out of the pen, I turned to my wife and said, “Tonight he blows his first save.” Still, we stranded 12 runners that game. I wonder if Dave D wants to retract his statement that the Tigers don’t need another bat in the lineup (not that I’m not happy to have Carlos back – we just need more than one guy).

  14. Couldn’t have put it better myself. It’s time to say enough is enough with Ordonez and Zumaya. Let’s trade those guys for a decent bat or two.

  15. Jonathan Shelley August 3, 2009 — 5:46 pm

    You can add Robertson, Bonderman, and Willis to that list.

    Mike, sorry for turning your blog into a Tigers recap.

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