“If all your dreams came true, whose life would be different?”
This question was asked by Tim Tebow at the 13th annual Florida College Leadership Dinner that Norma Jean and I were privileged to attend last Thursday evening.
The former University of Florida quarterback who led the Gators to two national championships, won the Heisman Trophy following his sophomore season, and was a first-round NFL draft choice spoke passionately about making a difference in the lives of other people.
Tebow has shown through the years that he does more than talk the talk, he walks the walk. The son of missionaries, he has returned to the Philippines many times, where he was born, to serve the needy.
In 2010 Tim established the Tim Tebow Foundation with the goal of making dreams come true for children facing life-threatening illnesses, providing care for orphans in six countries, and granting aid to families to adopt an international child with special needs.
Tim shared that to be a successful leader you need to have a vision, set goals, know your calling and focus on and fulfill your purpose in life. However, he stressed for success to be meaningful you must move beyond success to significance.
Tebow said his trophies, awards, and accolades meant nothing if he wasn’t using his position and platform to serve the needs of others and make the world a better place.
Tim’s web page emphatically emphasizes his belief with the flashing message.
More than football…
More than baseball…
More than speaking…
More than business…
It’s Living A Life of Significance.
The Bible addresses the issue of significance in several different ways.
The wise man in Ecclesiastes wrestles with the question, “What is good for a man all the days of his life?”
After experiencing all that life could offer. Pleasure. Wealth. Wisdom. And Success. He concluded these were fleeting and found the ultimate purpose of life was “to fear God and keep His commandments”(Eccl. 12:13).
Jesus further pointed us to true significance in life when he responded to the question, “What is the greatest commandment?”
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”(Matt. 22:37-39).
When the apostles became embroiled in self-serving speculations about who would be the greatest among them, Jesus succinctly said, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all” (Mk. 9:33-37).
On another occasion, Jesus expressed it this way. “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
While it’s unlikely any of us will ever achieve a national and international platform like Tim Tebow, we can all use what we have, where we are, and with whom we interact to make a difference in someone’s life.
Regardless of our fame or fortune, we can fulfill Paul’s admonition, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10).
Indeed, leadership guru John Maxwell was right when he wrote, “Success is when I add value to myself. Significance is when I add value to others.”
On Tim Tebow’s Twitter account he once tweeted, “I think the greatest tragedy in life is looking back and saying, “I was successful in things that didn’t matter.”
Now back to Tim Tebow’s probing and penetrating question: “If all your dreams came true, whose life would be different?”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman