What is your life known for?
Former Florida Gator quarterback Tim Tebow is outspoken about his faith in Jesus Christ. Whether wearing scripture verses such as John 3:16 and Philippians 4:13 under his eyes or “taking a knee” for a moment of prayer in the middle of a touchdown celebration, the former Heisman Trophy winner is unashamed.
Tebow now plays for the Denver Broncos, and, suddenly his prayer moment has become the latest internet sensation.
It started just two weeks ago when Broncos fan Jared Kleinstein, a Denver native who now lives in New York, was watching the Denver game with friends at a bar.
“We were . . . jumping up and down at the end, and I look up at the screen at the endline he was kneeling. So when we walked outside the bar, I said ‘Hey, guys, let’s pay tribute’ and we all got down and took a knee,” Kleinstein told the London Daily Mail.
Kleinstein coined the term tebowing, which he defined on the website he created with the same name, “to get down on one knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.”
People from all over the world have sent in pictures of their “tebowing” moment to www.tebowing.com: American soldiers in Afghanistan taking a knee in full combat gear; brides and grooms on their big day taking a knee in tux and wedding dress; a teenager up a tree taking a knee on a branch; another teen taking a knee on top of a snowman; a woman kneeling while riding an escalator, a women tebowing at the Vatican.
Unbelievably, according to Kleinstein, the site is getting around 400,000 hits a day. Obviously, people have a lot of time on their hands.
Tebow has been amazed at the phenomenon.
“What’s funny about it is how rapidly it has caught on, and how much it has taken off,” Tebow said.
“I know of a kid with cancer that tweeted me, ‘tebowing while I’m chemoing.’ How cool is that?” Tebow said. “That’s worth it right now . . .”
Two Sundays ago, Denver was getting shellacked by Detroit, and Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch sacked the QB and immediately dropped to one knee, right by Tebow. (Baptist Standard editor Marv Knox pointed out the irony of a Lion kneeling over a Christian).
One Denver writer suggested that the mockers were outnumbering the supporters, and with Denver’s and Tebow’s abysmal performances, this tebowing fad was getting embarrassing. The mocking is hurting his credibility as an NFL quarterback, the writer said.
What people are missing in the thick of this craze is that Tebow, like him or not, is the real deal. He has an authentic faith and doesn’t mind people knowing it.
This display of prayer is simply a pause to give thanks for that moment of success, and a reflection of Tebow’s dependence on God both on the field and off the field. He stands for Christ, and leans on Christ. That Philippians 4:13 he wore under his eyes reads “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
At this point, Tebow may not be known for his passing accuracy or his NFL-caliber talent. Hopefully, he’ll get a stronger offensive line and make better passing decisions has he gains experience.
Yet, he is known for his faith in Christ, and his practice of prayer.
What are we known for? What is it that stands out about our lives? If we were known for one outstanding or memorable thing, what would that be?
Prayer and faith aren’t too bad, are they?
Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Ga. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road, just past the department of drivers’ services building, and invites you to join them for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.