A collective groan went up around the office yesterday when news of Peyton Manning’s anticipated signing with the Denver Broncos was first reported by ESPN. It’s not that the folks around me dislike Peyton Manning, who in addition to being a certain future Hall of Fame quarterback, is also a very good guy.
It’s just that, to quote Sue McFadden, a colleague on my team, “I love my Timmy.” In fact, her Facebook status summed up the sentiments of many, I think:
“I’m allowing myself 24 hours to be pouty over this Peyton Manning thing, then I’ll move on. Of course, if Tim Tebow gets traded, I get to add another 24 hours. But at the end of the day (or two days, as it were) I’ll still be a Broncos fan for life!”
The fallout is just beginning, with people taking up sides. You have your fans of Manning, of course, and your fans of Tebow. There’s also a contingent that feels strongly about Tebow staying on in Denver as a backup and learning under the tutelage of Peyton Manning.
Is Manning a mentor? I don’t know. I do know that I can’t name one quarterback who played second-fiddle to him during his days in Indianapolis.
But what if Peyton Manning’s arrival could very well be the best thing that ever happened to Tim Tebow?
It’s no secret that the Broncos VP of football operations, John Elway, is not a big supporter of the former Heisman Trophy winner. When interviewed about Tim, he’s been extremely careful and calculating in expressing his opinions. Even in the midst of the Broncos’ remarkable winning streak last season, he refused to endorse Tebow as the starter for the 2012/2013 season.
Suffice to say Tim Tebow has been playing under the shadow and suspicion of the legendary Elway.
Should the Broncos trade him to another team that fully believes in his abilities, might his confidence soar and with it his passing accuracy?
Tim Tebow is a class act. He’s a gentleman who is wise beyond his years. I suspect that whatever happens, whether he stays in Denver or goes to play for another NFL team, he’ll be OK with it. After all, football isn’t his first priority. He trusts in the sovereignty of God and that all things work for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
It’s difficult to work for somebody who doesn’t fully believe in you, especially in the National Football League. When you’re playing not to lose, when you’re afraid to make mistakes, when you’re tiptoeing and walking on eggshells around the boss, how good can you ever hope to be?
Would you be able to realize your full potential working under such a dark cloud of suspicion?
Tebow fans might be tempted to pout, but I suspect Tim Tebow will handle this with his usual competitive spirit. He’ll wish Peyton well and pray for a positive outcome, be it in Denver or elsewhere.
I’ve come to appreciate the fact that in my own life, God has often used change to challenge and bless me. At the time it comes, I haven’t always understood what He’s up to, but I always try to remember that He’s in charge and I am not.
As Christians we should be willing to embrace change – because it’s often through change that God accomplishes His purposes.
Can you think of a moment or circumstance in your own life when the Lord has prompted you to unexpectedly change direction? What did you learn through the process?