Thursday, June 21, 2012

The OC's Saving Grace

Well, it's been six months since I went AWOL from this blog. A small thing such as a post-grad degree got in the way. However, the semester has finished, results have been logged and graduation is on it's way in September, so this writer is one happy girl who is now free to blog.

Even though I didn't actually write any blogs for a few months, I did come up with a few ideas for some inspired pieces:
- baking a cake is like mixing together the right ingredients for a successful life (choke! terrible analogy Naomi)
- driving in traffic is much like life, coz you've got to read the map, follow the law... oh please, shut up Naomi. Talk about corny...
- writing a script is like God's plan for your life (some potential in this one...)
And finally...
- The OC and the salvation message

What the? How could Satan's teenage television drama have anything to do with salvation? Have you completely lost the plot Naomi?

Not lost the plot. Rather, found a parallel in the plot. The OC's plot. Touche.

Whether you hated it or loved it, or you don't even know what I'm talking about, the TV series created a stir when it was on the silver screen. If you're not familiar with the, dare I say, awesome, show, allow me to fill you in:
Ryan, a troubled teen from a bad neighbourhood, gets busted stealing a car with his brother. Luckily for Ryan, he gets probation. Even luckier is that Ryan's lawyer, Sandy, is a compassionate kindred spirit who pities him and takes Ryan home to Newport, where his wife, Kirsten, and misfit son, Seth, adopt him and rescue him from a life of crime, violence and hopelessness. Ryan meets and falls in love with his neighbour, Marissa, whose life is full of more drama than an acting school. The show follows the lives of Ryan, Seth, Marissa and her best friend and Seth's love interest, Summer, as they navigate the tricky world of teenage life in upper class Orange County.
Okay, so I probably didn't sell the show. And maybe I shouldn't have tried. But whatevs. I liked the show when it was on and have since purchased the four seasons on DVD and occasionally crack them out for a mind-numbing marathon session. Don't judge me. But that's exactly what I did recently. I got the DVDs out and had a bit of a flashback moment to relive the glory days of my early 20s. As I was halfway through the first season, I noticed something that I hadn't picked up on before. I couldn't help but notice the underlying themes of grace and redemption that are woven throughout the storyline.

Ryan was a kid who was going nowhere fast. No purpose in life, no hope that his situation would change, stuck in a desperate life that proved futile. His family was dysfunctional; his mum was a drunk, his dad was in prison and his brother was heading the same way. In Christianese, Ryan was 'lost'. Enter the Cohen family in their compassionate mercy and we see Ryan offered a chance at a hopeful new life, which he takes, and begins to overcome his past and starts living for his future.

I know life isn't always like a movie or TV show, but for what it's worth, I can absolutely relate to Ryan's story. Sure, his struggles were polished for prime time viewing, but if you look at the themes of the story, what we've got here is a textbook case of mercy and salvation. You see, like Ryan, I was also lost. I was living a life that was going nowhere. I was a hopeless kid who had given up on myself and didn't have the strength to pull myself together. But God (two of the greatest words in the Bible), in his gracious mercy, came and found me. He offered me a new life. He didn't care about what I'd done. He loved me back to life. You might like to say, He pulled an OC on me.

That's why I like The OC. Not because of Marissa's drama or the clothes or the music (I do like the soundtrack, actually...). It's because of the power of mercy. The Cohen family saw a kid who needed a second-chance, and they offered it to him. They rescued a kid who needed rescuing. They took on all the legal implications of being his guardians, provided for him, loved and accepted him and set him on a new path.

That to me is a great illustration of my merciful God, the One who redeems, whose grace is more than enough, the One who is mighty to save, the One who has the power to change circumstances and who has a purpose for my life, who loves like noone I've ever met before. That's the God I believe in.

So the next time you watch The OC, think of this little blog. It'll change your whole perspective of the show.

Califorrrrrniaaaaaa, Califorrrrrniaaaaaaaaa, here weeeeee coooooooooommmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeee...

1 comment:

Travis Freeman said...

Hi Naomi
I just love your latest blog.

Bless Ya