Tim Tebow has kept himself busy these past few years. The former Denver Broncos quarterback signed on with ESPN, worked as a studio analyst for the SEC Network and has been coordinating The Tim Tebow Foundation. He has spoken to thousands of students and young leaders at Passion Conference, and has no problem publicly discussing his faith.
While he has seen a lot of outward success recently, it hasn’t always been easy for him to know exactly what his calling was. After a hard struggle in professional sports after being a legend in college football, Tebow had to overcome disappointment and find his identity outside of his success.
In his new book, This Is the Day: Reclaim Your Dream, Ignite Your Passion, Live Your Purpose, Tebow explains why we shouldn’t fall into the trap of putting off God’s calling on our lives, and should instead seek out our purpose today, even when it sounds risky.
RELEVANT: What was the personal thing that was going on in your life that compelled you to write about this topic?
Tim Tebow: I think there were so many things. It was four or five different instances where this really stood out to me. One of the first ones is being around so many people that would share, “One day I’m going to go on a mission trip,” “One day I’m going to start a diet,” “One day, I’m going to get right with God,” and that started to weigh on me. I started thinking, we don’t know if we’re going to have just one day. We don’t know what’s guaranteed. But we do know we have this day, so we need to start living this day as if it were our purpose with meaning, passion and significance.
I was around a lot young people who would say, I can’t wait when I’m old enough to do this. And I started thinking, you’re not too young. You can still do it. And old people would say the same things.
So I wanted to encourage them that life’s not about one day, it’s about this day. You can find that purpose, passion and meaning in everything you do. It might not be having the biggest platform, but you can transcend everything you do, whether it’s going to the grocery store or hanging with friends or with your family. If you can find the purpose and passion in that, I would encourage people to go after their dreams and go after what’s on their heart and not be scared about what others are going to say or of falling short.
Just take the leap of faith and go after it. Because the regret of not going after something is always so great. And whether you’re able to reach that dream or not at least you went for it, and are really striving for what’s on your heart.
Was there a moment for you, in the NFL or in baseball or broadcast where you were feeling a similar instance of being stuck when you were encountering all of those people?
I had to make that decision when I chose baseball. Most people asked, “Why would you take a chance to be ridiculed?” And I said, “Because it’s what’s on my heart.” It was something I wanted to pursue.
And I want to in turn encourage people to pursue their passions and what’s on their heart. And it doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy or perfect. But this is the day when they can start living the dream that God has for their life and they don’t have to be stuck in the ordinary and the mundane.
As you were contemplating making that switch, I’m sure you anticipated a lot of criticism. But what kinds of fears or doubts entered your mind, and how did you look to overcome those?
I knew there would be a lot of criticism. But I didn’t want to let all of that and the opinions of others define me. Unfortunately, a lot of times we let other people define us, rather than letting what God has put on our heart and who we are in Him define us.
The world doesn’t get to define you, because God already has.
This book has that foundation of faith. There are obviously so many self-help books that people turn to in order to feel unstuck. But why do you think it’s important to include that faith element amid this change and conflict that people experience?
Well it’s such a part of my life. It’s not just what I do, but it’s who I am and Whose I am. And I wanted to encourage readers that God has a plan and a purpose for life and to be able to take the next step in faith and to go after what He has put on their heart, to live with open eyes and open hands and to live with meaning and purpose and passion. And it’s not just all for your dreams, but to look around and see people that are hurting and help them out. The greatest way we have meaning is in loving God and loving people. To be able to find that in the mundane and ordinary, but also to be able to transcend whatever you do in your life to have purpose.
So for me, it’s not just playing a game, but looking at how I can transcend that. Encouraging teammates, encouraging fans… making it more than a game. I wanted this book to be applicable. There are things we can do. We can get up, we can get active and go after it.
The God of the universe has a plan for you so let’s be aggressive in living that out every day. Let’s live on our toes, not our heels.