Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Tim Tebow is easily the most polarizing figure of the American sports culture in the last 25 years. No one person has come close to dividing people like Tebow has with his abilities, his off-the-field actions, and, the biggest divider of them all, his religious beliefs.
For those of you who have somehow avoided any knowledge of Mr. Tebow over the last six years, here is the extremely shorthand version of his track and accolades. Tim Tebow was a 5-star football recruit from the state of Florida who ended up going to the state school over the University of Alabama (reasons why many people around me can’t stand him). While at Florida, he won two national championships, a Heisman trophy, and is part of the Florida recruiting class to lose the fewest number of Southeastern Conference games in a four-year span (soon to be beaten by the University of Alabama’s 2007 class). During his summers, Tebow would travel to the South Pacific and other areas to perform missions and minister instead of staying on campus like most college football players do now. He was drafted in the 1st round of the 2010 NFL Draft when many said he wasn’t worthy, and since that day, he has been a massive divider between scouts, coaches, and fans alike, drawing ire and praise each time he is given a chance in a game.
Now, the reason I bring up Tim Tebow, a man who has managed to gain my immense respect despite not picking my alma mater, is because he now has an internet blogosphere sensation named after him: Tebowing. The act is based off of Tim’s second nature decision to drop to a knee and pray after his Broncos beat the Dolphins in an incredible comeback about 10 days ago while the rest of his team ran on the field to celebrate. Since then, there has been a blog created asking people to “Tebow” and send in their photos. Just like any other thing concerning Tebow, there is division. Some see it as good-natured fun, others view it as mocking of a strong Christian.
While I can see both sides of the argument, and I personally have resisted the urge to “Tebow” to this point, the one thing I thought of when I first heard of “Tebowing” was “Why is a culture based upon Christian beliefs not realizing how one of the strongest Christian public figures in America is just doing what is called of him, just in a more public setting?” (Sure, there are plenty of other Christian thoughts that have crossed my mind, but that was just the first one) In 1 Thessalonians 5, one of my personal favorite chapters in the Bible, Paul gives instructions to the people of Thessaloniki on how to conduct themselves in a Christ-like manner. In verse 17, Paul gives a very simple command: Pray ceaselessly.
While the command is simple, the achievement of the action isn’t. Ceaseless prayer is not a natural state of being and it takes a lot of spiritual work within ourselves to attain. It’s been taught to me that prayer is meant to go “from your lips to your mind, and your mind to your heart” when you hope to attain a prayerful attitude. After enough conscious effort, the action of continuous prayer becomes a part of your being. It is a process that revolves around the need for deep understanding of God’s Word, along with acknowledging our reliance upon the Lord and accepting His work within us. A ceaseless prayer can be anything from your typical quiet time to a written out prayer, such as the Jesus Prayer (Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner) to a simple recognition of how great a day God has provided for you. It doesn’t have to be publicly known you are in prayer, but praising God in all situations and all times should be a goal of our everyday lives.
If we take the time to see all the wonderful gifts that surround us each and every day, we will be able to thank God continually for all that He has done for us.