Hey everyone! So, it’s been a week and a half since my last post – time to fix that.
Last weekend a group of us from the youth conference met up in Toulouse for two days of worship, fellowship and fun. The trip down was, shall we say, interesting. It was my first time driving the van on the highway (and it was a 4-hour drive), we had a rather hyper teenager in our party, halfway down it started raining really hard, AND we got lost trying to find our friend’s house. Thank God for cell phones!
That slight insanity aside, it was a great weekend. I got to catch up with a couple of friends I hadn’t seen since the conference, and whenever we all got together something always happened. Saturday afternoon we were invited to do worship and such at the church several of them attended, and it was amazing. 😀 Afterwards we all went out, got some (very yummy) kebab sandwiches and headed to a local park where we hung out and sang for a good while. Good times. 🙂 Saying goodbye Sunday afternoon was a bit tough, but we plan to see each other again soon.
I still can’t believe how all of us went from mostly being total strangers to close friends in one weekend. That was definitely all God. I’ve become good friends with various people quickly before, but never so many at once. We all come from various backgrounds and have different stories to tell, and when we’re all together it’s simply incredible. Words actually fail me.
In other news, this past week, after hearing about it for years, I finally got around to checking out Doctor Who. I started with the first episode of the current season and five minutes in I was hooked. It’s definitely a change of pace from all the crime dramas I usually watch, but a little variety is good. 🙂
Speaking of crime dramas, my favorite, NCIS, is getting ready to wrap up its seventh season, and overall I’ve been really impressed. There have been a few episodes that were a little weak, but for the most part I’ll find myself thinking, “And this is why I love this show. They get it.” And by ‘it’ I mean the meaning of family, unconditional love, forgiveness and grace. Stuff I wouldn’t necessarily expect to come up in a crime drama, but considering this one is more about the team than the crimes they solve, it makes sense. And like I said, they really get it.
Case in point: the season premiere, Truth or Consequences. For those of you who may not have seen it, at the end of season 6, Ziva, through some poor choices on her part and circumstances beyond her control, ended up leaving the team and found herself being held prisoner by terrorists in Somalia. Truth or Consequences follows the team as they try to find her, none being more desperate than Tony, her former partner and close friend. When it appears that Ziva died while on a mission to take out a terrorist cell, Tony takes it very hard (to put it mildly) and decides to take out the terrorist leader himself and thereby avenge her death. Keep in mind that the last time they’d seen each other, they’d gotten into a yelling match that almost turned deadly for Tony. So to some, Tony wanting to risk his life like that was insane. Why try to avenge someone who apparently hated your guts and treated you like dirt? And why would the rest of the team want to help when she abandoned them too? Why not just leave her to her fate? The answer is really quite simple: unconditional love. It doesn’t matter what she’s said or done, the team still cares about Ziva, and they are prepared to do whatever it takes to show it. When Tony and McGee let themselves be captured by the terrorist cell and discover that Ziva is in fact alive (though battered, bruised and generally much worse for the wear), needless to say they are overjoyed. Ziva, of course, is stunned that they would do something like this; she says herself that she doesn’t deserve it and is willing to die, perhaps as a way of atoning for her sins. McGee’s response: “That’s not how it works.” Long story short, they all make it out alive, and after a few heartfelt apologies on her part, Ziva is back on the team, for good this time.
That last part, in my opinion, is a very good example of grace. Strictly speaking, after the fiasco last May Ziva probably should not have been allowed back. However, the team decided to forgive her and give her another chance. And that, my friends, is what grace is all about. It’s the same with God: all of us (no exceptions) deserve to go to hell, but because He loves us, He sent Jesus to die on our behalf so He could extend forgiveness and offer us another chance. And I can say from experience that being on the receiving end of that is incredible. I suppose that’s why the first four episodes of this season struck such a chord with me.
Anyway, that’s something that’s been simmering in the back of my mind for a while now and I felt like sharing. Apologies to all non-NCIS fans out there; I promise I won’t be talking about it all the time. I make no such promises when it comes to horses, however. 😉
I think I’ve rambled on long enough for now. Until next time… 🙂