What I Learned From Jack Bauer

I have a confession to make.

I have been binge watching 24.

A good friend was obsessed with this show. On my 31st birthday, she tried to talk me into staying home and watching her CD set of season 1 (there were no smart TVs)  instead of going to the all-girl Vegas trip I had planned. I thought she was crazy to think I’d watch that over the Thunder from Down Under (Yes, we went…it was so awful. And please note, this occurred a few years before I rededicated my life to Christ.)

But now I get it. As soon as I hear that heartbeat like noise come over the TV that materializes into an asystole type EKG sound (aka flatline,) I know Jack Bauer is about to whoop some butt. Jack Bauer is a trained assassin/super hero and the show is a non-stop hit of adrenaline. As I’ve now found myself binging into season 3, after having watched Jack’s heart being stopped during a torture scene, I asked myself:

  1. Will Jack Bauer ever find true love again? I’m a total chick and I think he needs a good hug.
  2. What am I doing binge watching this show? Well, halfway watch as I find myself closing my eyes through most of it.

I’m about to be really honest. In some ways I feel like my heart has accidentally stopped after a torture session as well. Like Jack, I feel like I’ve walked through my own battle field. Disassembled my own bomb. Maybe even helped save a soldier or two. And just like him, I wasn’t sure who I could trust or what was coming around the next corner. My life has changed almost as many times in the last year as his life does in 24 hours. And if you don’t watch the show…that’s a lot.

But the truth is, I don’t want to be like Jack Bauer. Sure he’s brave and he kicks some major butt…but he is so tormented. Tormented by his past. What he’s seen. Who he’s lost. The decisions he’s made. How this has all affected his daughter. And that’s the very place I do NOT want to find myself: tormented. Who cares if you kick some major enemy butt if you come out the other side all sad and tormented about it? I don’t think the point of winning a battle is to come out the other side with your heart in asystole.

Asystole is a state of no cardiac electrical activity, with no contractions of the myocardium and no cardiac output or blood flow. A lot of times you see it on TV followed by the paddles coming out to shock the heart back into rhythm. But from what I’ve read, that’s not how you really bring someone out of asystole. The treatment for asystole is usually CPR being administered with a shot of adrenaline.

Maybe I’m drawn to this show because it literally keeps me on the edge of my seat in anticipation. The thing is, I know this dude lives (for at least another 5 seasons) so my expectation is that no matter what, he’s going to be okay. But just coming out the other side of something breathing is not enough. If we find ourselves in victory over the battle, but still fighting a war in our hearts…well, I think the result can be asystole…in our hopes, dreams, faith…everything.

And that’s where I find myself today. In a place of real need, but still with an expectation that everything is going to be alright. And I know as I work on some heart issues, God will meet me there and breathe life back into these dry bones. There is this electrical pulse that is just waiting to be revived. I need the adrenaline to be shot back into my veins. For a sweet and filling breath to pump through my lungs and cause life again in my hopes and dreams. And Lord, I don’t want it to come from anyone but You!

So if you find yourself in that place, my friend, hold tight. Help is on the way and it doesn’t have to take 24 hours to get to you or me. There is tangible help just waiting in His word and just one touch from Him brings healing to the heart. We just need to take a minute to stop fighting the world, and perhaps, take some time to forgive ourselves and those around us for what the battle brought out in all of us. Maybe just like Jack Bauer, we all just need a really good hug.

Today’s ForecastHeart rhythm seems to be a little flat.

Silver LiningGod is so much better than CPR.

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