As I type this post ESPN is reporting the New England Patriots will cut Tim Tebow today potentially ending his playing career. Lee Corso, one the hosts of the great College Gameday show, said, “He’s got more important things to do than play quarterback in the NFL.”
This announcement reminds me of a story Mike Linch often tells. For those unfamiliar with Mike, he is one of my best friends and the incredible senior pastor of the great NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, GA.
Coming out of high school, Mike was recruited to play baseball for Liberty University where he would pitch under the leadership of former New York Yankee Bobby Richardson. As his senior year approached, Richardson retired and a new coach and staff were put in place. Mike had waited three years to play a starring role, a role that could potentially propel him into professional sports. But the new coach and staff had different plans.
Mike was advised by his new coach (and I’m paraphrasing) that he wanted to play the young guys, bring in his own players, and start building his own program. This is completely understandable and happens everyday with sports teams, businesses, and yes even churches. But that is no consolation when you are the one who is affected.
Showing glimpses of the character which would one day help make him one of America’s top pastors, Mike spent his senior season having a great attitude, cheering on his teammates, and supporting the program. Unbeknownst to Mike, what started as a tremendous disappointment would turn out to be one of the greatest blessings of his life. Mike would not become a professional pitcher but God redirected his life and he did become an absolutely wonderful pastor who has touched the lives of thousands of people like me.
Mike’s life has been an inspiration to anyone who have ever felt their dreams and plans have been thwarted. He reminds us God is always in control and has greater plans for our lives.
I still think Tim Tebow is one of the best 96 quarterbacks in pro football. I know he would be one of the top 15 fullbacks in the game. But if Tim’s playing career is concluding, I know God has a much better plan for him that will be more fulfilling and bring God greater glory than even football ever could.
I want to tell Tim Tebow “Thank You”. You were a great player but an even better person. You have lived your life with character, dignity, grace, respect, love, mercy, and been a true picture of what a Christ-follower looks like. I can’t wait to see how God is going to use you moving forward.
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