Archive for January, 2012

TEBOWING WITH SAINT PETER

January 13, 2012

It was a Sunday in September when God noticed that church attendance throughout North America was way down.  What really got his godly thinking cap tighter were the rushed sermons of preachers nationwide as the clocks ticked toward the 1:00 NFL kickoff time from coast to coast.

God summoned Saint Peter.  “Peter, I’m being eclipsed by this football fanaticism; it’s blasphemous and embarrassing.”

Peter thought a moment and said, “Well, Lord, let’s make some lemonade from those lemons.”

“Like do earthquakes under every stadium?” asked God.

“No.  No  No.  Disaster has reached its tipping point.  It no longer draws the faithful closer.  You’re actually losing fans with each calamity.”

“What then?” asked the Lord.

“Remember Machiavelli?  I know you didn’t like him, but his philosophy makes sense right now:  ‘Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.’  I mean, let’s embrace this NFL phenomenon.  Let’s find us a messenger from within its ranks, and use him.”

Thus, God and Peter scoured the rosters of every NFL team and stopped at the name ‘Tim Tebow’ of the Denver Broncos.

“He’s our guy, Lord,” said Peter with conviction.  “Impressive in college with the eye-black scripture and two big championships.”

“OK, then.  Draw up a plan how we will bless him as our messenger.  We’re up against a popular institution that applauds violence, profanity, exhibitionism, off-field immorality, greed and money, disregard for the welfare of its retirees, commercial sponsorship that advocates alcohol and sex… I could go on, Peter.”

“If I may be candid, Lord, much of that description can refer to the current state of affairs in many of your churches worldwide, including that big Roman one and the ones with their own laws toward women.  Just sayin’.”

“We’ll address that mess later.  First, we have to bonk these football fans over the head with our message.  Get them to pay attention.  Then convert them to a better Sunday purpose…  Once you have them on Sundays, you can win the week.”

And so Peter, the reformed betrayer, came forth with his plan, tilted, “Tebowing – a 20-week plan to expand God’s fan base”.

NFL fans know the rest of the story.  A five of six-game winning streak followed by a three-game streak of darkness – a symbolic crucifixion – and then the resurrection of Tim Tebow and his Denver Broncos team with a miraculous victory over Pittsburgh.

“I really like the references to John: 3:16, don’t you?” asked Peter, referring to Tebow’s passing average of 31.6 yards per completion and 316 total passing yards on ten completions against the Steelers.

“That’s a good start.  Now we have to find a way to meaningfully beat Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, not just win the game.  Maybe a final score of 3-16 in our favor; we need momentum before the Conference Championships,” ordered God.

“Have you done this often, gotten involved in sports outcomes?” asked a curious Peter.

“Not nearly as often as humans think I have,” responded God.  “Last time was against Belichick, as a matter of fact.  After he had done that dirty spy-cam trick, I just had to shake Eli loose and let Tyree make ‘The Catch’.  I didn’t want people to think I favored New York, which is why the 2001 Yankees won three straight amazing walk-offs at home in the Bronx after 9-11 had delayed the World Series, but Arizona won Game 7 in the desert, despite how much I love Mariano Rivera…” God’s voice trailed off.

“Wait a minute.  That was six seasons before the Giants upset the undefeated Patriots.  Couldn’t you have given the Yanks the earlier title and let the Giants come up short later?”

God frowned.  “Peter, sometimes you still underestimate me and my family!”

“How so, my Lord?”

“Look.  I AM GOD.  Chronology means nothing to me.  I knew in 2001 that the Giants would play Belichick seven February’s later.  I could tell you who will win NASCAR’s Chase in 2085!  In 2001, I could not see having a tickertape parade in New York City after 9/11 and did not want to leave that decision to the Yankees and the Mayor… Besides, Spy-Gate would really irk me, and Eli Manning would become my kind of human being.”

“What other outcomes have you done?”

“Really, only a couple dozen over a span of two centuries of American sports, each with a moral lesson or reason intended.  Flutie’s Hail Mary was one…  for all the good short men who walk the Earth.  I owed them that after Napoleon.”

“OK.  Then if you already know who will win what, why all the drama about Tebow this week?”

“Peter, you doubting me again?  I know who will win if I let it go naturally.  I’m trying to decide if I should intervene or not; what the takeaway would be versus letting Mankind do its own thing.  Or if there’s a better way than football to herd in the flock and regain some loyalty back.”

“Gee, I don’t know, Lord.  The NFL is about as big as it gets in America.  But if you’re looking worldview, then soccer might be your best arena.”

“Nah.  It’s got to start in the USA before they spend trillions more on another war, which is why I’m keeping Tebow out of politics, using his Philippines’ birth certificate [FYI – Timothy Tebow was born in the Philippines to American missionary parents] –- so that right wing-ding GOP doesn’t draft him for President and claim I endorse more conflict… After that, we’ll have to find a Middle Eastern Tebow to stop all that nonsense going on in my Son’s old neck of the woods…  Or, maybe I’ll just let it all go on, “Man being Man”, to paraphrase a baseball phrase, and see how they roll.”

“OK, Lord,” Peter sighed.  “Sounds like you have a lot on your chalice plate.  Meanwhile, I’m on my way to Foxborough to put the MASS back in ‘achusetts.”

“Good work, Peter.  I’ll give you a sign just before the opening kickoff.  You’ll be the first to know which way I decide to go with this one.”

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Struggling with your faith, as I am?  Believe in something much greater than anything you know or understand, but can’t put it into words?  Me, too…  Is Tim Tebow part of a Godly plan?  I don’t think so, but let me know what you think?

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