Shortly after posting the previous silly video about Tim Tebow I got this email in my inbox from my friend Donny who was at this dinner. He passed this message on through email today and I asked him if it was okay to share. This is a great story…
A true story shared by Tim Tebow at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes annual dinner on Thursday, February 12, 2009. And, a follow up story shared by Urban Meyer!
During the 2008 NCAA Football Season the National Championship University of Florida football team faced many challenges. Everyone remembers the passionate speech quarterback Tim Tebow delivered after the mid-season 1 point loss to Mississippi. The team morphed into a better, more cohesive and stronger unit. The theme for the team became FINISH STRONG!
During the 4th Quarter of the SEC Championship game, facing the #1 Ranked Alabama Crimson Tide without star running back/receiver Percy Harvin and behind on the scoreboard, Tim Tebow and the Florida offensive team rallied on the sidelines and passionately committed to FINISH STRONG as they went out and scored the winning touchdown in dominating fashion. They FINISHED STRONG!
During the 4th Quarter of the National Championship game, facing the #1 Ranked Oklahoma Sooners and the most dominant high powered offense in the history of college football, the defensive team…special team…and the Tebow led offensive team rallied on the sideline and passionately committed to FINISH STRONG as they went out and shut down the Oklahoma offense and then s cored the winning touchdown to secure the win.
Once again…they FINISHED STRONG!
Tim Tebow spoke about those games and compared them to the game of life. We face many opportunities to make good decisions and to passionately pursue many different goals in life. Most of us pursue them passionately and many of us successfully achieve those goals. But when we don’t achieve those goals…are you able to say that you FINISHED STRONG? In life, as we move toward our destination, are you going to feel good about your answers to the following questions that ultimately are waiting for you: Did you do enough? Did you do too little? Did you finish strong?
The guy who wears number 15 and accessorizes with a ‘red cape’ finished his testimonial after dinner with the following story:
A day or so before the national championship game God touched his heart with a message…Tim needed to change the message on his black eye liner that he wears when he is playing. All year he had a reference to Phillipians 4:13 on the eye liner which represented the following: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. He talked to four or five others about switching the message and everyone except his parents told him not to do it because they had been so successful all year with the Phillipians 4:13. His parents, Pam and Bob Tebow, supported the change and Tim knew it was the right thing to do. He played the championship game with John 3:16 on the eye liner which represents the following: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
We all know the outcome of the game, but the phone call that Tim received a couple of days later when he was back in Gainesville was nothing short of unbelievable. Tim answered his cell phone and it was the P.R. guy for the UF Football game. He said, “You set a record.” Tim wondered what kind of record was he talking about. “In the 24 hour period from the start of the championship game, JOHN 3:16 was Googled…93 MILLION times! No other topic had ever been Googled that many times in a 24 hour period of time.”
Follow up story from Urban Meyer, Coach of the 2008 National Champion University Florida football team:
As Coach Meyer was introduced next, he looked out at the 400 attendees and said, “How do you follow that?” as he referred to Tim’s testimonial.
Coach Meyer then shared a few stories and then introduced his last story with the following introduction:
We all hear about the incredible family Tim is a part of. With everything going on in the world, you just know there is no way Pam and Bob Tebow can be as perfect as they are made out to be.
I am here to tell you I witnessed the most amazing conversation which is the truest testimonial to how incredibly good the Tebows truly are.
A few days after the championship game I sat at a table in the back of the Ballyhoo restaurant with Tim, Pam and Bob Tebow. It was just the four of us and I listened in amazement as Tim’s future about moving to the next level of football was decided. Unbelievably, the NFL was never once mentioned. Tim’s dad started the conversation by saying that Brett Farve spoke about his faith and no one ever listened. Here was a future Hall of Fame quarterback and no one heard his message. Tim then said…”I can think of 93 million reasons why I would want to stay in school and play my senior year at the University of Florida.”
That’s how the decision was made.
Which platform would provide Tim with the best opportunity to share the word of God? As you now know, playing his senior year for the University of Florida would be that choice.
And, is there any doubt about Tim’s passionate commitment to FINISH STRONG?