Tebow played his last regular season college game today, as Florida dismembered their in-state rivals, Florida State, 37-10. As he is wont to do, Tebow, a homeschooled Pentecostal Christian, etched a biblical citation in the black facepaint underneath his eyes. Today, the verses were Hebrews 12:1-2:
Yes, this is a sports reference. The "cloud of witnesses" are "fans in the stands". Tebow probaly chose this passage as generic encouragement to do one's best, regardless of what one is doing. However, it is obviously much more than that; the race is life itself, and losing is, quite literally, not an option here. Since Tebow is, presumably, Arminian in his Pentecostal soteriology, he is probably aware of this. However, he probably does not yet know about all the tools and weapons he has at his disposal: eating the Flesh of the Son of Man and drinking His blood in the most holy sacrifice of the Eucharist immediately comes to mind.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (RSV)
Tebow probably also does not know the following: the "cloud of witnesses" referred to above, the "fans in the stands," are occupying no stadium on earth. They are in heaven, as is attested in Hebrews chapter 11. This passage confirms the historical, apostolic doctrine of the Communion of Saints: the Church on earth is one with the Church in heaven and vice-versa because all are "members of Christ" and therefore, "members one of another". Does Tim know this? Probably not. May the Holy Theotokos and ever-Virgin Mary and all the Saints in heaven pray for Tim and all those who are like him:
Lord Jesus, introduce Tim to your Mother and to all your Friends in heaven.