When I saw the first previews for The Chicago Code on Fox, my first thought was something like: "Really? Another cop show?" But, predictably, I watched anyway. What I found somehow goes deeper than any other similar shows I’ve watched in recent memory. Police Superintendent Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals) and her former partner Detective Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke) are possessed by a sense of mission. Their mission is to redeem the city of Chicago from its past and present patterns of corruption, and as it turns out their "on a mission" approach makes for a viewing adventure—one that demonstrates the power that people have when they decide what good needs to be accomplished and don’t let anything stop them from doing it.
The show has got me thinking about my mission. I don’t know about you, but most of the time I don’t live like I’m on a mission. Most days, I get up, go to work, come home, and in the end I’m lucky if I can remember half of what I did and why it was so important at the time, let alone in the scope of eternity. Does this sound familiar? It sounds boring when you read it, right? Here’s a little secret in case you don’t already know: it’s pretty boring living that way, too.
Now obviously, we can’t all carry a badge and a gun like the cops on The Chicago Code (nor should we). We may find our mission is completely separate from our employment. The important question is where our hearts intersect with God’s. The particulars of how and where we find our sense of mission are not so important, because the process differs for each of us. What matters most is that we find it and live it. Imagine what would happen if we all cared about something that matters to God on a mission level? When I imagine us on a mission, I think of all the good we could accomplish if each of us engaged on that level. I think about the death of boredom as each of us embraces our own adventure. I think about redeeming more than Chicago.
The transition to a mission-driven life may require (only) a shift in perspective—something that is often harder to achieve than a physical move of a thousand miles. Many of the things we are already doing matter on a mission level, but if we don’t see them that way, it’s hard to embrace the daily adventure of accomplishing them. On the other hand, it may also be time to embrace some cause in a new, more passionate, way. Maybe it’s time to engage in a whole new adventure.
The Chicago Code’s Isaac Joiner (Todd Williams) says: “When people ask me how I escaped gang life, I always tell them the same thing: I didn’t. I joined the toughest gang in town.” Aside from its criminal connotations, a gang can be defined simply as a group of people working together. What should the Church be if not a group of people working together toward the grand overarching mission given by Jesus to make disciples (Matthew 28:19)? This mission is too important for us to ignore it or miss the mark, and fulfilling it requires each of us to embrace a unique, personal contribution to the mission of redemption. What will your contribution to the mission be?
Rachel Decker writes a biweekly column about television for RELEVANT. Check out her blog at http://racheldeckerspeaks.com/