9.15.2005

Joan of Arcadia

When trying to determine who the thriftiest person I know is, I ultimately have to decide between two individuals: my dad, Hacksaw Jim Blackwell and my best friend, Travis Powell. Let's examine the facts. My dad will buy fifty bars of soap at Walgreens if he thinks he's found a steal of a deal, thus eliminating our need to purchase soap for the next two years. Travis on the other hand can come up with great date ideas like going to the OC cafeteria or using clips to secure his jeans so they don't get caught in the bike chain. Amazing! But, and this did not occur to me till I came home because of my B&N/Blockbuster (I'm anti-Blockbuster by the way, but Randy's M&M would only speak to a portion of people who read my blog) mentality. My dad rents DVDs from the library! How cool is that? Naturally you always have to wait because you are generally the fiftieth person in line for any given DVD, but if you constantly have twenty holds out you're likely to have one DVD per week. I almost forgot you could check out books!

I said all that to basically explain how I got my hands on Disc 3-6 of Joan of Arcadia: Season 1. This show blew my mind the first time I saw it on television, and I really didn't like it at first. It starts out with the song What If God Were One of Us by Joan Osbourne, also a song I really never liked. The premise behind that song and the television show is that God could be an average person walking around on the streets. Joan of Arcadia takes it one step further by having God, in the form of an average person, talk to Joan to give her "advice" in which she then follows in one emotional episode after another. I really think people fifty years ago would have rolled over in their grave with this concept. And while I'm not sure its always Biblical, I must say I like and enjoy the show and even feel challenged by it.

So while it initially shocked me in perhaps its boldness, I've really started to like it. Joan deals with a lot of good faith issues, and the family shows a great cross-blend of real people with real problems. The father is largely agnostic but a good guy, the mother is struggling with faith and teenagers (this is all season one knowledge I have by the way, not season two), the older brother became paralyzed due to a car wreck and is frustrated with himself and can't fathom the concept of God doing this to him, and the younger brother is a science genius who fleshes out the scientific questions involved with faith. And then of course there is Joan who interacts with God on a very personal way. She is often frustrated, confused, and upset yet ultimately thankful and reflective upon seeing God's ultimate beauty in the plan He had for her.

And perhaps Joan really resonates with me. Or perhaps all of humanity. God is immutable and He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. But as I continue to grow in my understanding of God I am inspired by the real relationship that God and Joan present. Joan can communicate just as she would to a friend, or better yet to a father. Not only in reverance, but also in trying to grasp life's mysteries. And that is Biblical! The Psalms are ripe with passages of confusion, frustration but ultimately hope and belief in God's will. Jesus pleaded with God himself to "take this cup from me" but also accepted God's will. And so does Joan.

So I like the show. And perhaps even the song.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

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blakewell said...

Anonymous,

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Do you think this is our problem today in America? Or is it McDonald's? I'd like your thoughts. Hopefully your random posting software is complex enough to answer my question.

Take care!
Blakewell

Anonymous said...

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Jon said...

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Mgam said...

I've never seen Joan of Arcadia, but I'll look for her the next time I'm out at the lake. Nice jab at the random posting software. Hopefully it will get the hint and stop advertising on your blog.

RIM4EVER,
Matt

linuxwebguy said...

Hey Blake,

I never have seen Joan of Arcadia, nor have I cared for the song. In high school, one kid asked me what kind of music I liked, and I told him Christian rock. So for some reason, every time I saw him from that point on, he started singing "What if God was one of ussss??" I finally told him that this wasn't Christian rock, and that he needed to hear stuff like Audio Adrenaline, MXPX, Newsboys, and for those 80s rock fans, Petra.

Josh Yaeger said...

Makes me want to go watch that show. Sounds cool. Blakewell, sure do enjoy reading up on everything in your life. You make it so colorful.

Court said...

I remember seeing previews for the show at some point, but obviously I don't have much opportunity to watch it in Germany. I'm not sure what I think about the concept of having God come down among humans and talk to them directly as he does to Joan in the show.... After all, he's already done that once, and he tells us that the next time he does it, there are gonna be some fireworks. ;o)
However, I've been curious about the show since I first heard about it. Wish there were a way for me to see a couple of episodes. And I'll say this: Any TV show that portrays God and faith in a good light can't be all bad, right? *grin*
But I'm with whoever commented above--I've never liked that song, either. It's just not right to describe God as "just a slob like one of us." Even when Jesus was human, he was anything but what we'd describe as a "slob."

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Blake! Very interesting stuff.