By Caitlin Chodakowsky
Tim Tebow: life’s ups and downs; his book; move to baseball
Known best as a star quarterback in the NFL, Tim Tebow's outspoken beliefs and philanthropic ventures have led him to become one of the most talked about football players of the past decade.
It's not common for a baseball rookie to gain national news coverage during a spring training debut but Tim has already won the hearts of many, both for his sporting prowess and his strong convictions.
While he has to deal with a lot of criticism for his move from football to baseball, he says he would rather focus on his charity work.
"I'm not going to worry about what everybody's writing or saying," he said at a recent minor league baseball spring training press conference after signing with the New York Mets last September.
"I am so grateful for sports because it's given me a platform to be able to share love and care for people all over the world, so I wouldn't trade that for anything."
And his reason for switching to baseball?
"Since I was four I've played the sport. And I almost went pro out of high school, but I had to decide between doing that and going with football and getting an education," Tim told USA Today Sports in February.
While he chose the latter, he still continued to see baseball as a passion and a challenge he wanted to take up one day.
Tim went on to experience many highs and lows over his professional football career but did not allow the glorious defeats or crushing disappointments to derail him.
Beginning his career, he was the first-ever college sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy and a two-time winner of the NCAA National Football Championship.
He then became the Denver Broncos starting quarterback for two seasons after being selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft pick and played a season with the New York Jets in 2012.
Tim often attracted both controversy and respect for his 'drop-on-one-knee-and-pray' routine at the end of each game, which became known as 'Tebowing' and served as a clear expression of his faith in Jesus Christ.
Having released a new book titled Shaken late last year Tim shares his great and tough experiences candidly to encourage people to ground their identity in something greater than themselves.
"So, who was I when I won the Heisman Trophy versus when I got cut three times, well, maybe four times in the NFL? Was I the person that was praised by presidents or the person that was debated and scrutinized by most of the media? ... I'm so thankful because of my relationship with Jesus Christ and being adopted in the family of God that I don't have to live the highs and the lows and the roller coaster that the rest of the world lives because I know where my identity lies. My identity lies as a child of God, and that is something that will never be shaken," he shared in an interview with the publisher.
He explains he was very blessed to grow up in a strong Christian family but realized at an early age that he needed to make his own decisions about where his life would take him.
as a child of
God will never
be shaken”"I had been hearing about Jesus and how He died on the cross for my sin but I had never put my trust in Him and I didn't know what that meant."
He started talking to his parents about it and told CBN in an interview that he recalls thinking: "You know, if I get in a car wreck (tomorrow)... and I die, I don't think I'm going to heaven!
"And I was scared. So the next morning I woke up, and I grabbed my mom, and I (kneeled by) the couch and I said, 'Mom, I want to ask Jesus to come into my heart, and forgive me of my sins, and make me a child of God'."
From that moment Tim says he has been one hundred per cent sure when he dies he will go to heaven.
"When I put my trust in Him my life changed, now I know where I am spending eternity and because of that I have success and because of that my life is a success! So it doesn't matter what happens in the future, I don't know what is going to happen in the future but I know Who holds my future."
Tim believes that it is through this faith in Jesus that true success, comfort and peace are found and refers to Mark chapter 8, verse 36, which says; "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?"
As part of his commitment to serve Jesus Christ, he started his own Foundation that supports 600 orphans worldwide and helps fund mission trips and speaking engagements to share his passion with others.
"One day, people are going to forget about me. One day, people are going to forget about the Heisman Trophy, the jump pass and the national championship," Tim told inmates on a visit to a prison.
"There are only four things that are going to last forever: God, His Word, people and (heavenly) rewards."
"It's a choice each of you has to make. I can't make that choice for you. Your friend can't make that choice for you. It's up to you.
"No matter how bad your life has been, eternity can be great. It's not how you start, fellas, it's how you finish."
While no one knows what his baseball career holds, Tim says ultimately the sport is not what drives him: "I want to be someone that was known for bringing faith, hope, and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need."?