If you read the title of this blog, you made be asking how are those two things connected. They are not connected, but I just happened to attend a youth small group called Taste of Grace and watch The West Wing in the same evening. This week starts the season of Advent in the Christian Church. It is a season of waiting for the Christ Child to be born. Our focus for the first week of Advent is hope. Finding hope right now can be challenging, but we can try. Our lives may be a little less busy than usual so let's try to use the time to be in silence or reflection. These are things that can be hard to make time for when we are busy. During this Advent season, this is my goal. By taking the time to think and reflect yesterday, I figure out I had learned two crucial things that apply to our lives right now:
Fellowship, specifically Christian fellowship, is needed and wanted more than ever in a time like we are in right now.
There are times we need to listen, and times we need to speak up and get in people's faces verbally.
Last night in NOVA, it was below 40 degrees with a wind chill even lower. Each Sunday night, one of the Youth Leaders I work with leads a high school small group at his house. During COVID, he has continued to lead it but to be safe; he has to lead it outside in his carport. He has continually and continuously told the youth that if they show up, he would be prepared to lead them even in the chilly weather. Last night was no different, and ten youth showed up to be in fellowship with one another. These teenagers are longing to be present with one another. While we are together, the leader provides time for fellowship, discussion about our Christians Lives, and prayer. Our time together is filled with laughter and seriousness as we walk through life together. Right now, there is very little competition with other youth activities, so now is the Christian community's time to make a difference in not only the lives of teenagers but also in the lives of children and adults as long as we provide a safe space.
When I returned home from Taste of Grace, I sat down to watch an episode of The West Wing. Little did I know that it would make me think more than I want to last night. I am not going to explain the whole episode, but I will share two specific scenes that flowed throughout the show that apply to this blog. Through these two scenes stress the importance of listening while also acknowledging there are times to speak up. Again, proving we must always listen before we speak. The first scene involved a man (in the photo above), one of the main characters. He was having a conversation and possibly arguing with another political leader about reparations. The conversation took a positive turn when this main character started asking the right questions and actually started listening. He was able to realize that he was applying personal experiences to the wrong situation and really begin to understand what the political leader was sharing with him. In the other scene happening in another room, the Press Secretary (women in the photo above) gave the President information that the President could not act upon. In order to stop him from making matters worse, she had to speak up and somewhat get in the President's face so that he would actually listen to her. In a scene before this one, she had been told by the man in the photo above that she would need to get in the President's face, but she was very unsure about this advice. I have to be honest with you, but now that I have written this blog, I think Taste of Grace and The West Wing have connections. In Taste of Grace, we have discussions around our goals in life, political issues, and how we interact with others. The West Wing hits some of the same points we do in their shows.