Outspoken Christian and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow told Trine University graduates on Saturday to make a good influence in the lives of others rather than getting caught up in worldly pursuits, reminding them that money and celebrity status won't bring true happiness.
Tebow warned at the commencement about how the world would tell people, especially the youth to pursue money, fame, power, praise promotion, and platform. He said that he's fortunate to have some of them, and according to him, most empty people he knows have it all yet he claimed those things couldn't satisfy a person. "It's not going to fulfill you," he said.
Tebow, known for being vocal about is Christian faith and for "Tebowing," was one of the most decorated quarterbacks in college football history at the University of Florida, before becoming an ESPN analyst and pursuing a professional football and baseball career. He led the Gators to a national title as a backup his rookie year. He won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore and then led Florida to another national victory as a junior.
Tebow declared his senior year's goal was to win another national championship and for the senior class to be dubbed the "greatest ever," but the Gators were defeated in the SEC Championship by Alabama. He described the loss as "devastating."
Tebow Changed His Perspective
He claimed that he took it too far. It had an impact on who he was and how he treated others. However, his encounter with a girl suffering from brain tumors altered his mind.
Tebow attended a college football awards event in Orlando, Florida, a week after his loss to Alabama. He met Kelly Faughnan, a teenage admirer who had always wanted to meet him in person, during the pre-awards banquet the day before the event. Her family had driven from Virginia to grant her wishes.
"Kelly has had to fight brain tumors and tremors and so much adversity her entire life," Tebow told the graduates.
Tebow asked Faughnan to be his date at the awards event after hearing her story. They sat together and walked the red carpet at the event.
Tebow said he was nominated for six trophies that night and expected to win a few, but he got none instead. "Timmy, it's alright. You have won tonight. You just don't get your trophy until heaven," his mother whispered to him before the winner of the last prize was announced, he claimed.
Making A Difference In Pursuit Of Divine Calling
He told the graduates that he doesn't recall what the awards were for, but he does remember Kelly, with whom he is still friends. The young girl has overcome a lot in her life and has raised over $300,000 to help others who are going through similar situations. For him, it's a heroic act since the young lad changed other lives and changed his mindset too.
It's easy, Tebow said, to "get caught up" in worldly pursuits. He assumed it was about another title, another Heisman, or the plaudits and advancement. He was convinced it was everything. However, Kelly taught him that it isn't everything. He hoped that graduates would understand that what the world tells them isn't everything.
Tebow urged the graduates to follow their convictions rather than their emotions, to gain the proper perspective, and to be prepared to make a difference. He encouraged the graduates to answer "yes" to their calling, the urgent and divine invitation.