Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Unorthodox Tim Tebow

I grew up in a musical family and a drummer, Buddy Rich was my idol. His single stroke roll was a work of God, at least as I witnessed his incredible performances. His record, A Different Drummer seemed to be a departure from so much of the jazz -rock that he had been doing in the preceding years. Rich's talent and precision differentiated him from drummers of all styles.

Which brings us to Mr. Tebow, a different kind of NFL QB. He has reemerged nationally as quarterback with the Denver Broncos. The renewed fame begins with leading his team to the playoffs and in the playoffs, but is fed by the criticism of some who may call themselves "experts" at the position he plays. For these folks, "just win, baby," isn't enough. For example Sir Charles declared earlier this week, after Denver's last win, "the national nightmare continues." I know he's not an expert so it must be comedian.

Tebow's technique is not prototypical, nor his frame, which allows him to run first, pass second. Such an approach is a problem for other, more frail quarterbacks, and their coaches. There's also the matter of speaking regularly and persistently of what are supposedly personal faith matters. That he shares his faith in the Lord publicly shouldn't by itself diminish his authenticity. But for many, it is just one more way he is different, and probably makes his interviewers a little uncomfortable.

If his season were long over, there would be few interviews and little interest. So winning has sparked the Tebow craze for sure. But I think there's more to it. In leadership theory, we hear about the self-differentiated leader. They are the ones who know and accept themselves for who they are- with all their limits, and their gifts. Self acceptance is more about accepting my true self as formed and loved by God. (Is. 43:1, 44:1) So that when the false statements that we tell ourselves cease, as well as the stuff we use to prop-up our lives, we are, bottom line, all very different and unique but equally loved by God, in an overflowing kind of way.

Love allows differences in us and in others. And those differences are what make our world beautiful, and exciting, not boring. "And I say to myself, what a wonderful world."

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