Okay, before we get into the book let me give a few quick facts about why I wanted to read this book, total honesty.
A. I love Tim Tebow. There are a few reasons, but leading those are his dedication, drive, and personality. He is a great guy, plain and simple, and argue if you want, but he is an amazing athlete. I don't care if his NFL career didn't go as planned, or if he may never see the MLB, he is still a tremendous athlete to even be competing for a spot. - Ok, I'm off my Tim Tebow as an athlete soap box now. But last reason, he's real cute..
B. He, and his family, do a lot for others & I wanted to learn more about it.
C. I follow his social media, and saw a lot of his posts and quotes from Shaken. It drew me toward the book.
What I expected from Shaken vs. what I got:
1. Expected: I expected stories and experiences. I wasn't sure what style they would be written in, but I thought there would be stories related to his playing days and to his charity and missionary work. Like I said, I think Tim Tebow is great so I don't mean this in any disrespect, but I assumed they would be the highlight reel type of stories.
What I Got: In a sense it was a highlight reel, but in a totally different way. Yes, he referenced playing at Florida, playing with the Broncos, and some of his mission trips, but it was in absolutely no way a "Look how amazing I am" kind of way. Former athletes could easily capture, and keep, people's attention by talking about their high points, but the lows were also mentioned in this book. If he wasn't explaining how he got through lows, he was tying a success story to hospital patients or children with his foundation. He wouldn't be Tim Tebow without mentioning Florida, his Night to Shine events, or days in the NFL, but he definitely didn't use those experiences to promote himself, he used them as encouragement, and to relate to other people.
2. Expected: Another thing I expected, and I hope this doesn't come across in a terrible light, was religious connections that were either deeper than my understanding or very direct. We all know that Tebow is strong in his faith and has probably lost fans, contracts, and opportunities because of it. I see nothing wrong with his faith and the messages he tries to get across, but I expected the book to be more direct than it was. Keep reading, I'll explain..
What I Got: This book had a lot of important messages about pressure, expectations, life plans, family and friends, and being a better person. All of which I found incredibly encouraging. At no point was I uncomfortable with the message and faith showing through in Shaken. The way it is written is very easy to relate to and so simply discussed that I instantly wanted to practice these methods and learn more. The theme of God's plan and seeing the things He puts in front of you instead of having to see them for yourself, really stuck out to me.
Circle of Trust - Not every person wants to see you succeed. As much as any of us wish this weren't true, it is. Then there are also some times people might have the best of intentions, but don't understand what you're trying to do or what you need to do to get there. Both of these situations can cause issues and negativity. In Shaken, Tebow references his Circle of Trust frequently and states that they are his immediate conference call when something good or bad happens in his life. I think this is important, and something that I've definitely thought about recently.
John 3:16 - In Chapter 8 of Shaken, the section title "What God Can Do" will really makes you stop and say "wow". I'm sure we all remember Tebow wearing Bible versus on his eye black through college. In this section he references wearing John 3:16 during the National Championship game in 2009 and the 94 million people that Googled that verse during the game. What stuck out to me though was that three years, to the day, after the National Championship he was playing for the Broncos, threw for 316 yards, 31.6 yards per completion, time of possession was 31:06, ratings were 31.6 million, and during the game 90 million people Googled John 3:16. Amazing.
God's Plan - A big message throughout Shaken, included realizing that your plan may not always be the best plan, or the one meant for you. It may be obvious if you're trying to become an NFL quarterback and get cut from a team, but if you're applying for jobs or taking an entrance exam, it may be more unclear and frustrating. From Shaken I really want to keep the idea that God's plan may not be the same as my own plan, but it is what's meant to be.
Quotes & Verses:
"'Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.' Trophies don't last. Awards come and go. Impressive titles move form one person to the next. But how we live can make an eternal impact."
"If we open our eyes, each day presents us with opportunities to do something kind or nice for someone else." - Tim Tebow, Shaken
"Oftentimes we don't dream big enough and oftentimes we don't start small enough.