In a recent interview, Gene Simmons of KISS and part owner of L.A. KISS Arena Football Team, was found defending Tim Tebow for his religious stance. Now let me say that I am personally not a Tebow fan because of his football prowess or accomplishments in college. In fact, I don’t like any team, college or pro from Florida for that matter. However, I must agree with Simmons that it seems Tebow is walking worthy of his calling! I AM a Tebow fan because of who Tebow is and what he stands for…and it sounds as though Simmons is too. Here’s what Simmons said in a recent press release:
“Acquiring Tebow would not only be a great investment for the team, but his exciting style of play would definitely send shockwaves through the League. We’re excited for the opportunity to see him with an LA KISS uniform on, and for the LA KISS fans to be rockin’ their Tebow shirts and jerseys.” Gene Simmons (LA Times Sept. 9, 2013)
In the same press release, Peter Stanley of KISS and LA KISS said:
“Tim Tebow is one of the most recognized and respected athletes in sports. His joining us would mean great things for his fans and for our team, especially from a business standpoint.” Peter Stanley (LA Times Sept. 9, 2013)
Of course, this could all be more hype and publicity, which would not be beyond KISS to do. But I do believe there is something to be said about the image that Tebow has portrayed as an athlete and moreover as a Christian.
As I see it, Tebow is living out Philippians 2:13-15
13 For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.
One has to believe that Tebow is the real deal, having been shipped from place to place, not receiving much fanfare for his playing ability. He’s been maltreated as a player and not been given much opportunity to excel in my opinion. However, Tebow has been firm in his conviction and personal stance in following his dream and God’s plan. Through his recent departure from New England to previous letdowns in Denver and New York, Tebow has demonstrated that being a “Christian” doesn’t mean that everything goes your way. He has lived out the reality that following Christ means doing right regardless of what the circumstances entail. In his book Through My Eyes, Tebow says:
“People often seem to think that when you’re following the Lord and trying to do His will, your path will always be clear, the decisions smooth and easy, and life will be lived happily ever after and all that. Sometimes that may be true, but I’ve found that more often, it’s not. The muddled decisions still seem muddled, bad things still happen to believers, and great things can happen to nonbelievers. When it comes to making our decisions, the key that God is concerned with is that we are trusting and seeking Him. God’s desire is for us to align our lives with His Word and His will.”
I simply wanted to take the chance to applaud Tim Tebow for the way he has handled his time in the NFL and life apart from the NFL. In all of it, Tebow has been able to keep his composure, maintain a high level of integrity and represent who and what he believes very well to the public. In his own words, Tebow is a living example of real success. Here’s how he sees one obtaining success:
“Success comes in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t come with money and it doesn’t come with fame. It comes from having a meaning in your life, doing what you love and being passionate about what you do. That’s having a life of success. When you have the ability to do what you love, love what you do and have the ability to impact people. That’s having a life of success. That’s what having a life of meaning is.” Tim Tebow
Even though Tim has not yet found a home in football, I could not go without acknowledging his life and testimony. Tim, I may never cheer for your football team but I’ll be glad to cheer for you wherever you land. Since it doesn’t seem like it will be to Russia with love, maybe the LA KISS still have a wish upon this star?
George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as student pastor of New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA