Tim Tebow is back in the news, signing to play football with the Philadelphia Eagles. The young quarterback has received much attention about his public expressions of faith. At least he’s willing to give credit where he thinks it’s due.
After the 2010 Sugar Bowl, his last collegiate game, with ‘EPH 2:8-10’ in his eye black and with microphone in his face, he thanked “my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is the reason we are all here.” He then thanked the team, coaches, and fans. Seems fair, since he didn’t achieve success in a vacuum. Seems fearless, too, given all the criticism he had taken.
There is a story, perhaps urban legend material, about the boxer Muhammed Ali. It seems he was on a commercial airliner. The captain turned on the “fasten seatbelt” light which he ignored. He told the insistent flight attendant, “Superman don’t need no seatbelt.” She shot back, “Superman don’t need no airplane, either!”
The human experience is hard enough without living by the proverb, “if it is to be, it’s up to me.” Initiative and responsibility are admirable, but it’s lonely when you look around at your possessions, accomplishments, and position, and see only your handiwork.
In the Jimmy Stewart movie, Shenandoah, he plays Charlie Anderson, a man who had promised his dying wife to raise the kids as Christians. Here’s his mealtime prayer: “Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvested it. We cooked the harvest. It wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t be eatin’ it if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel. But we thank you just the same for this food we’re about to eat. Amen.” How ungrateful, but revealing.
The philosopher Nietzsche believed that God is dead. To him, Christianity is a hopeless quest for morality which prevents man from becoming Superman. Sadly, both Hitler and Stalin fell under the spell of this antitheistic philosophy, and history records the disastrous results. Ideas, like elections, have consequences.
It should not be so hard to acknowledge God. But He had to remind even His chosen people to “remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth” (Deut 8:18). From his intricate and interwoven design of nature, to his providential hand in history and his power to bring good from evil, God is involved in human affairs.
Tebow was right. Jesus Christ is the reason we are all here. “All things came into being through Him” (John 1:3). It is a life well-lived that gives credit where credit is due, especially in matters of eternal consequence.