Through My Eyes is an old-fashioned, inspirational, sports story. It is about the larger than life University of Florida and NFL football player Tim Tebow. Like all celebrities, there are Tebow lovers and Tebow haters. Not too many people have ever seemed neutral about Tim Tebow, especially when he was playing in the NFL. Whether he intended to or not, Tim Tebow became a polarizing figure in the American sports world and gave many late night comedians and Rex Ryan lots of fodder for their comedy routines. Heck, we even have the trademarked "Tebowing" prayer position to thank him for or blame him for.
I read Mr. Tebow’s autobiography in conjunction with my son, who has chosen to do a school report on Tim Tebow. Naturally, my son choose him because of his outstanding football career in college and with the Denver Broncos, and initially, I was not real happy with this selection. Understand this was nothing personal about Tim Tebow himself but rather that our schools are huge rivals: he is a University of Florida alumni and we are University of Georgia fans. Needless to say, however, I soon came around to my son’s point of view.
Once I began to read this book, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by it. Through My Eyes is a story of faith, family and football. Each chapter begins with a Bible verse that sets the stage for another snapshot of Tim Tebow’s life at a particular time, spanning from miracle baby of missionaries to Heisman winning college quarterback to NFL quarterback. We read about his enduring love of his family and friends, his parents loving rearing of him and his siblings, his own flaws of wanting to be the best at all costs, and his tireless pursuit of his dream to be a starting NFL quarterback no matter how unsuited his skill set is for that position. And through it all, Tim Tebow does not hesitate to explain how his Christian faith serves as the cornerstone of all of his past and present activities, both on and off the gridiron.
Before beginning this read, I must admit that I was aware that Tim Tebow is a devout Christian (What college or NFL fan who watched the sport in the last ten years didn’t know that?) and even though I did not cheer him during his Gator days, I always felt that he acted appropriately on and off the field, tried to be a good role model for children, and was fearless enough to wear his Christianity for everyone to see. But even though he never offended me by his faith, I realize many people might not feel the same way and might actually view this autobiography as Christian proselytizing. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Through My Eyes is not a "preachy" book at all. While Tim Tebow consistently states that Christianity is his personal faith and that it is the only right answer for him, he never makes the misstep of turning what is a work about his life into an evangelical call to repent. Instead, Tebow focuses this book on Christianity’s deep and abiding affect on him and its affect on his personal journey through life. And he does a great job of explaining how his faith has fueled not only his drive for athletic succeed but also led him to give back to those in need by forming a foundation to build children hospitals in the Philippines and help ill children. Things that many athletes pay lip serve to but not enough take seriously.
I suppose the simple fact about this book is: if you are a Tim Tebow fan or a devout Christian, you will likely enjoy it. If, however, you dislike Tim Tebow or the faith he espouses as his own, you will hate this book and should not waste your time reading it. As for me, I enjoyed it very much; it gave my son and I something to do together, and the principles of love of family, dedicated work toward a dream, and respect and love for others are themes that I want my son to emulate - even if it is a former Florida Gator who is exhibiting them. :)