How does he do it? In a hostile world filled with violent fanatics determined to bring the USA to its knees, Jack Bauer always manages to bring us to our feet with applause. It’s just a TV show, but 24 reminds us that the truth is out there: undiluted, unbeaten and just below the surface. Monday night, our hero returns to rescue us from a bunch of high ranking feds who are drunk with power and convinced that nothing is sacred. It may take a few hours, but we already know that J.B. will restore strength and honor to the corridors of Washington, D.C.
Nobody can succeed that often! Think about it: Jack Bauer faces more threats, endures more brutality, and wins more gun fights in a day that veteran Navy Seals do in a lifetime! Yet he not only manages to run the table every single hour, but he looks credible and believable doing it! Why is that, and what could you and I learn from his utterly improbable successes?
- He will do whatever it takes. Nothing intimidates him: not a ticking bomb with only 30 seconds left on the clock; not a squad of 100 highly trained, well-armed militants lurking by the highway to ambush his motorcycle. He is confident that his training and instincts will sustain him.
- The man is not afraid to be misunderstood. Friends and co-workers often fear he has surrendered to the darkness. Even his trusted ally Chloe O’Brian occasionally worries he has finally gone over the edge. But Jack baffles the people around him because he sees reality more clearly than they do, and is more passionate about the cause he has been called to defend.
- Jack has mastered the weapons in his arsenal. Sure, he can handle assault rifles with the best of them, but he also knows knives, explosives, poisons, ropes, and ax handles! He is effective in any situation because he is more than confident- he is competent. For Jack, luck is what happens with preparation meets opportunity.
In the Church of Jesus Christ, you and I are certain that Truth is liberating and Jesus is Lord. But we haven’t generated much inspiration in the eyes of the watching world lately, perhaps because we often appear to be intimidated, insecure, and incompetent. There’s a limit to how far we will go for the Gospel because we take comfort in busy schedules and respectability. We dare not risk being misunderstood because we have been seduced by the lie that image is everything and nobody likes extremists. Thank God Jack Bauer is willing to look like a fanatic! And finally, we are more familiar with the ins and outs of smartphones and soft drink dispensers than we are with the Sword of Truth, the breastplate of righteousness or the shield of faith. The Bible is just so old school, even when it’s a new app on your I-phone, but those crazy little high tech game apps are absolutely addictive!
The field of counter terrorism doesn’t need many guys like Jack Bauer because one or two can turn the tide. And the Kingdom of God has never required millions of saints like Stephen or Paul or William Tyndale or Joan of Arc. A handful are always enough at any critical moment, but I really want to become one of the few. Don’t you? God grant us the courage to seize an opportunity, face it with relentless abandon, and rely tirelessly on Him to turn the world on its head!
Lift up the Cross!