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    16th January 2012

    What’s most important right now?

    Rick Reilly, a sports writer for ESPN who I have been reading since his days with Sports Illustrated, just wrote a column about Tim Tebow (click to read the whole thing). He doesn’t really talk about Tebow’s on field achievements or failures, and instead focuses on Tebow’s habit of hosting people from trying and troubling circumstances at his games. One of his recent guests, Bailey Knaub, is the sister of a guy I used to run against in middle school, and their mother used to work with my mom. There was one quotation from Tebow in particular that I really appreciated. Asked if the time he spends with his weekly guests distracts him from getting ready for the game, Tebow replied:

    “Just the opposite. It’s by far the best thing I do to get myself ready. Here you are, about to play a game that the world says is the most important thing in the world. Win and they praise you. Lose and they crush you. And here I have a chance to talk to the coolest, most courageous people. It puts it all into perspective. The game doesn’t really matter. I mean, I’ll give 100 percent of my heart to win it, but in the end, the thing I most want to do is not win championships or make a lot of money, it’s to invest in people’s lives, to make a difference.”

    How did sports become such a big industry? Did the media tell us? And why have we believed everything the media tells us? And why have we followed the perpetual controversies and rivalries and dramatics that are put on stage? I love sport, and I love cheering for a team that I’m invested in (and get bummed after watching games like last night’s drubbing of USC’s men’s basketball team by UCLA), and I have definitely become caught up in reading every little thing written about my favorite teams or players… But ultimately, they’re just games and entertainment. They are not battles to the death or winner takes all, losers become indentured servants type competitions. Don’t try to tell that to the media, they’re making too much money off of sports; and don’t try to tell your friends either, they’re too much sucked into the whirlpool already.

    As for me, I am challenged by Mr. Tebow. Challenged to remember what is important: investing in the lives of others; loving people well; and serving God in the circumstances he has placed me in with the gifts he has given me. The circumstances I am in right now mean that I need to get a lot of reading, grading, and lesson planning done this afternoon, but I will be blessed working on those things with purpose. There is much work to be done, and I will be thankful for that work today!

    One more quotation is needed. This time, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

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    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.