Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday Morning Devotional:
Looking Into Tebow's Eyes ...

Saturday mornings this time of year find me working the floor of the gymnasium at our church in Midland, offering halftime devotionals during Upward Basketball games. I was inspired to prepare this week's devotional by looking into the eyes of a Heisman Trophy-winning, All American college football quarterback, Tim Tebow.

Upward, one of the the world’s largest Christian sports program for children, was created with a vision to provide the best sports experience possible for every child. An estimated 1-million people around the world play, coach, referee or volunteer in some way to support Upward sports activities, hosted by more than 2,600 churches - there are four churches here, in Midland, including my own First Presbyterian.

The organization notes that, "anyone – children and volunteers of any faith or no faith – can participate in Upward sports. Specifically designed for children in K5- sixth grade, Upward aims to bring out 'the winner' in every child – regardless of the game’s score."

Really, not a bad venue for discussing someone like Tim Tebow. At the moment, he is one of the most well-known college athletes in the nation, and some are suggesting he will be the #1 pick in the upcoming pro football draft.

Those of you who watch college football on TV, have probably noticed those patches of eye black he wears during games, and the references to Bible passages written in white letters on that eye black … one of them is Hebrews 12:1 ...

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." (NIV)

I suggested at Saturday's devotional that it was nice, really, to have someone like Tim Tebow out there. Is it me, I asked, or are there too many sports headlines out there devoted to guns in the locker room, marital infidelity, dogfighting, coaching scandals and steroid drug use. I wondered, can one embrace sports at any level – whether it’s in the church gym, the local ballpark or a major pro sports stadium – and still embrace Christian values? Answering my own question, I said, "yes, I think so." Tim Tebow, I noted, did it every Saturday afternoon … and these Upward kids are doing it right here, every Saturday morning.

By the way, whoever you are and wherever you are, we would love to have you on our team! If you're the parent of a youngster who wants to play basketball, soccer, flag football or cheer, chances are
Upward has a league or camp near you. What? No kids? No problem ... Upward programs always need volunteers to coach teams, to referee games, to operate game clocks, to rustle-up snacks for the kids, or offer devotionals at halftime.

I can think of worse ways to spend a Saturday morning.

No comments: