Julianne Treme,
Economics and Finance,
University of North Carolina- Wilmington

[ April 17, 2009 ]

Recently while both of us were attending a conference, my department chair asked if I had ever seen the television show “24.”  I admitted that I had not, and was met with a stare of disbelief.

“How is it that you have managed to miss one of the most exciting shows in recent television history?” I was asked.  I promised to rent and view a season from the series. After sending my husband to the video store to pick up the first episode, he returned with Episode One  — but of Season Four.  I admit I was a little testy with him, but we began watching anyway.

The show chronicles the adventures of Jack Bauer, a field agent in the Counter Terrorist Unit, as he tries to avert potentially catastrophic terrorist attacks.  What I noticed over and over was his total and complete devotion to the overall objective: saving American lives and defeating terrorists.

And it was not just the actions of Bauer. In scene after scene, his fellow agents are in life-threatening situations and offer their lives without a hint of hesitation.  They understand that their ultimate goal is to make sure the objective is reached and accept that it may very well happen at their own expense. When faced with what seems to be absolute death, they accept it without whining or complaining.

Would I be Willing?

As I was watching this, I wondered if I truly understand and embrace the mission of bringing others to Christ and living my life in a way that honors Him.  I wondered if I was willing to put this objective before my own needs and desires.   I wondered if, given the chance, I would be willing to put Christ’s objective before my career goals, personal goals, and life ambitions.

If it meant that I would not get the next promotion, or even lose my job to make decisions that could bring others to Christ, would I be willing to give up a career that I have worked so hard for? Or an even simpler, less dramatic question: would I be willing to put my nervousness and shyness on hold to bring people closer to Christ?

I was not Jack Bauer

After considering these questions, I realized that I was not a “Jack Bauer in the field.” I realized that Christ’s commission was not always my objective, and that I frequently let non-essential items cloud my view of the big picture.

I am now recommitted to understanding and focusing my life around bringing people closer to Christ.  It’s actually easier thinking about approaching life with one singular objective in mind.  The peripheral issues really do seem quite superficial with this outlook.  Even the issue that arose when my husband picked up Season 4 instead of Season 1!

Now my husband and I need to decide whether to go forward with Season Five or return to Season One.  But that’s a story for another day.

© 2009  Julianne Treme