Jack Bauer

These thoughts took place between 1 PM and 2 PM. I must admit, since my last newsletter (which has been a few months) something has happened. I’ve become a little obsessed with Jack Bauer, the main character in the television show “24”. He works for a government branch that is involved in counter- terrorism. Ron knows and he’s hooked too. The show is in it’s 7th season and a friend of mine loaned me the first season on DVD to watch during my travels. It sat on my bedroom dresser for a month before I began watching it. If you haven’t watched it, the show is broken down by the hours in a day. To watch one 24 episode season is to watch one 24 hour day. Every single episode ends with a cliff hanger–one that leaves the watcher wanting more and wondering what in the world is going to happen to this guy next!

I was on the road traveling and mentioned to a youth director friend of mine prior to beginning the series that someone had given it to us. “Be careful,” he said as he laughed. “My wife and I rented the first season,” he recalled “and we thought after we put our kids to bed we’d watch a few episodes just to see if we liked it. We began watching early that evening. We got to midnight and said we better stop.” He smiled and said, “at 8 am we turned it off and woke the kids for the day.” It is crazy to see what all can happen in just one day!

The show is presented in real time, with an hour representing an hour. It is funny to observe how life is presented in this story with a season representing one 24 hour day.

It’s been a fun ride to see how all of the different characters and the way their lives weave together and how that is revealed just a little bit at a time.

I have some observations to share:

First, Jack is single focused. He knows the purpose of his mission. Regardless of the object of his mission, Jack seems to be single focused on whatever the task at hand is. There is often quite a bit of potential distractors in the mix, but Jack sticks to his mission.

Second Jack has an uncanny ability to know who to trust. In the show there are definitely people who should not be trusted. Time and time again, Jack realizes who is really trust worthy. Think about that in your own life. OK I’ll go first. On the surface, I trust everyone. But when it comes down to it., I’m not a good role model for trust. I forgot a close friend’s birthday this week and on the day, at the ninth hour, I called him and said, “oh no.” I had no card and no gift. I thought for sure I’d remember and be the one he could count on to make his day special. If you give me a piece of paper with your name and number on it, well it might just might go to the place where all my other lost stuff is. Some airport lost and found in Phoenix, on some shelf in the back. If you ask me to pray about something for you, I really try to remember. I might think about it after the thing I was suppose to pray for. OK, I’m just being honest.. But then there’s that moment when you really get my attention and say, “Celia I need you to help me with this.” Do you have someone like that? I called a friend last week just to hear her voice, just to touch down and say I love you. She has seen the good and bad in my life and I have seen hers. I can trust her with all of it. The last episode I saw Jack was captured and in the last seconds of the show he said, “can I make one call?” Even Jack has a someone he can call, someone he can say, “this thing happened to me.” I’m not sure you can do anything about it, but I thought of you and I called to say I need you. Who do you trust with your everything?

A third theme is that Jack has ability to get the job done alone. Many times Jack finds himself going in before back-up arrives. His advisors have asked and pleaded with him to wait. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. He’s caught by the bad guys, because maybe there were too many bad guys or maybe he couldn’t see that one guy behind the tree. Why do I attempto to work like that? I think foolishly that I can do this by myself, all alone, with no back up. Like Jack, many times I pull it off and that’s insane, because sometimes, I don’t. What I have learned is that trust goes hand in hand with this concept. There are some people I can trust my life to and there are those who will be there for me as my partners in life. Beyond them there is my faith which I know that I know God’s realness and steadfastness–the always-in-the-midst-of-my-sea-of-maybes.

I joke and say if we’re alive and well then Jack Bauer is doing his job, but I know better. Jack is not the source of my security. If I’m alive and well it’s because I know who I am; I’m doing things that I love; I’m surrounded with people who know me and love me; I have a faith that is real and true and I can trust others with my heart and life.

I’m not alone and neither are you.

These thoughts will self-destruct in 30 seconds.

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