WILL UNWOUND #636: “Weekend Meditation – Divine Intervention or Faithful Illusion?”December 17, 2011
From time to time I cautiously devote my weekend meditation post to the subject of religion. As someone who has written and published hundreds of articles, columns, and blog posts for the library community over the past 35 years, I will tell you that there are three issues that are always guaranteed to generate anger:
- advocacy of religion
- advocacy of the classics
- advocacy of censorship.
You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to recognize the connections between these three points of advocacy:
- Don’t tell me how or what to worship.
- Don’t tell me what to read.
- Don’t tell me what to take off of library shelves.
My last unfortunate foray into this arena was an ill advised post about the inappropriateness of a book in the local library glorifying the merits of growing and smoking marijuana. Click on weed if you want to revisit the carnage that I created with that one.
Now it’s time for a little religious controversy. Say those two words and up pops Tim Tebow. If you have been living in a cave for the last 3 months without electricity or free wifi, you need to know that Tim Tebow has had higher trending numbers than Lindsay Lohan, which is ironic since the two are polar opposites with Tim on the side of the angels and Lindsay struggling with a whole host of inner demons.
It’s too bad that Tim Teebow plays quarterback for the Denver Broncos rather than the Washington Redskins in light of the joke that has been trending on the internet: Question: “How come there is no Nativity display in our nation’s capitol this year?” Answer: “They couldn’t find 3 Wise Men and a Virgin.”
Well, Tim, the football hero is a 24 year old virgin and many of his defenders would also say that he is a wise man. Let me expound on that. Tim is a 24 year old virgin who was the most glorified football hero in the history of the University of Florida, a school reportedly filled with beautiful coeds just willing to sacrifice their bodies to football heroes.
Now that Tim has graduated, he plays for the Denver Broncos. All the experts said that Tim would fail miserably at the professional level because his game was strictly oriented around the college game. Tim has astounded the experts. He has led his very mediocre team to 6 straight victories, several of them of the miracle variety. This brings us to the roots of his controversy:
- Tim is outspoken in his love of Jesus Christ and even puts biblical verses on his face with eyeblack.
- Tim does not just talk the talk; he walks the walk. He is humble, polite, and kind even to those who rip him and ridicule him for his outspoken religious beliefs.
- Because Tim lacks a conventional professional football skill set, his knack of winning games in the most miraculous ways causes many of his admirers to point to divine intervention for his success. This is partly because during games Tim will pray on one knee for strength from the Almighty. This pose of worship has gone viral on the internet and is now commonly referred to as Teebowing. There is even a popular Christmas card that shows Tim Teebowing before the baby Jesus.
- An alternative explanation of Tim’s football miracles is that God is really not intervening in these games but that Tim is fused with the confidence that God is intervening. This motivates him to do the impossible.
Which brings us to my thoughts about Tim Tebow:
- Tim is first and foremost a Christ follower and advocate. I like that he is courageously true to his calling.
- Tim is a savior for a football industry that has had a year of scandals, crimes, and strikes. He is making an awful lot of money for people who ridicule him.
- I cannot explain his miracle victories. I don’t think God cares a hoot about who wins the game but is it possible that God is shining a spotlight on Tim to highlight his faith in a time of religious doubt and skepticism?
- Is it possible that this light that God is shining down upon Tim is meant more for believers than nonbelievers? Is God saying “This is how you should practice your faith – with courage, humility, and virtue?”