Recently, I enjoyed the privilege of listening to a preacher who without doubt pointed his listeners to Jesus. As he spoke, I thought of my favorite hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” His name is Dan Wolgemuth and he is the President and CEO of Youth For Christ USA.
Now I do not know him (apart from a brief introduction), so I had only those two hours or so at a YFC banquet to learn. Still, I was certain that here was a brother who leads not so much from position, but from a heart enamored by the Savior. So, I decided to look up his blog. (You know…it’s always a good thing to learn from people who love the Savior.) While visiting his site, I was impressed with some of the subjects he touches upon. However, one title jumped off the page right away. It was a recent post about another man I am learning to admire, Tim Tebow. Here is what Dan wrote:
by DAN WOLGEMUTH on MARCH 9, 2012
“And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.’” ~Mark 10:47-49 (ESV)
Nearly 2,000 people had hung on every word that Tim Tebow had spoken. First the focus was football, then personal, then faith.
I closed the time by praying for Tim and as soon as the “amen” was out of my mouth Tim was whisked away to travel to a middle school assembly where students sat in bleachers waiting.
We traveled in two vehicles and I was in the trailing van. As we pulled out of the parking lot at the University of Montana, the only Missoula venue large enough for the gathering, we were immediately snagged in traffic. As we sat in the congestion, I noticed a man in a wheelchair that had obviously been at the “Tebow event.” He rolled his electronic chair down a driveway and toward the sidewalk. It was then that he realized that on the road in front of him, sitting in the passenger seat, was Tim Tebow. With that reality in front of him, literally, he began to wave and to shout and to reach for a camera in his pocket so that he could shoot a picture of Tim.
But instead of shooting a picture of Tim, the tables turned, instantly. Tim Tebow had witnessed what I had witnessed… and he decided that he would do something to impact the situation. So, in an instant, he was out the passenger door; traffic jammed around him. He ran to the man, and in an instant handed the camera to someone else while he positioned himself for a picture with the man in the wheelchair.
This was not a media stunt, it wasn’t a political step… it was raw, unconstrained compassion. It was stewardship of position and status and popularity. It was as authentic and real as it was inconvenient and intrusive. Tim didn’t calculate, he responded. He didn’t measure, he stepped out. And by doing so he walked onto holy ground; into caring for the “least of these.” His powerfully strong legs carried him into the sphere of helplessness.
Just as quickly he was back in the car; moments later he was standing in front of students and parents while the cheers ricocheted off of concrete walls. But on the way, with the video cameras absent, Tim Tebow lived his mission as he made someone else’s dream come true.
In the moment; in response; from his heart… living and loving like Jesus.
This put touchdowns and trophies in perspective. This showed the character of the man, even as it lifted high Tim’s Lord and Savior. This exposed Jesus.
No fourth quarter heroics. No scrambling from the grip of onrushing defenders. But make no mistake – this was full contact. The clock was winding down. This was Tebow Time. Raw, compassionate, unconventional, effective.
Wow. I love it that Dan admires Tim. I love it more that he sees Jesus through Tim. I love it even more that he directs us past Tim to Jesus. And I really love it that Dan is a leader less dependent upon his time spent with Tim Tebow than he is upon the Savior.
I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul as he wrote to the Church in Philippi: “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things” (Philippians 3:7,8).
Thanks Dan for showing us Jesus.
Follow Dan Wolgemuth, President/CEO YFCYSA at http://fridayfragments.com/