Well, as I mentioned at the end of yesterday’s post, we watched the finale of LOST last night and, believe it or not, I wasn’t disappointed. It ended much better than I expected it to. And although my initial thought as the final credits rolled was that I could have done without the last fifteen minutes or so, I’ve decided that those were okay, too, because, as with all of LOST they prompted thought about topics I care deeply about and find fascinating, ie, issues of spirituality, the afterlife, and the underpinning of reality, which always gets back to God, who IS reality. Which is why I’ve watched the program all along. Plus I just liked the characters.
I never expected they would “get it right,” or really even come close to presenting spiritual realities as they are. And they didn’t. But while I was annoyed by that stained glass window in the background of the final scene with Jack and his dad, the one with the six symbols of the world’s major religions arrayed in it, I wasn’t surprised by it. It was, in fact, appropriate for the dumb Tower of Babel ideas they were promoting.
Immediately afterward I read viewer reactions, some of whom found it fabulous, some of whom found it dreadful, and some of whom found it emotionally satisfying but intellectually a let-down. I would most agree with the latter, in that there were so many questions that I thought were important to the story that were left unanswered, or answered in ways that made no sense. But hey, why would I expect any more? The answers their questions demanded reside in the things of God.
And the naturally-minded man cannot understand the things of God, for they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them for they are spiritually discerned. LOST ‘s writers and producers and actors attempted to portray things of God from a naturally-minded viewpoint which pretty much has to end up being nonsensical. In other words, for me the problem was that the writers were overwhelmed by their material and tried to describe and explain eternal, infinite, heavenly things in earthly terms. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and our thoughts are not His.
Think about that for a moment. His thoughts are not our thoughts.
All the ways that seem right to a naturally minded man (which can include Christians who aren’t operating in the power of the Spirit and haven’t had their minds renewed by the continal inculcation of His word) are not God’s ways. God’s plan is about Him, not about us. He created us for His glory, not ours. Everything good in the world is from Him. He IS love. He IS truth. He IS faithfulness. Life. Light. Warmth. Justice. In God’s economy you give to receive and die to live.
LOST’s writers played with elements of destiny, purpose, time, dimension, eternity, alternate universes, justice, redemption… but without God in the picture, they had no hope of even getting close to answering the questions they raised. In fact, as I contemplate the ending I have the sense that they tossed various concepts into the story to be intriguing and thought provoking and importantly metaphysical, but had no idea what they were working with. And why should they? They had only their human viewpoint and human viewpoint can’t comprehend the things of God. Sort of like a prairie chicken trying to understand and portray the life of an eagle. Absolutely clueless.
And yet… God has placed the desire for eternal things in the heart of every man, and that’s what came out in LOST. The show dealt with eternal things, if only sketchily. Thus I could watch it from the viewpoint of what I know those things said about God, knowing there IS a purpose for every person’s life on this earth and that it’s important to know that and seek it. Because if you truly seek that, you will end up finding God. If there is a purpose for our lives, it must lie with the one who made us, because the concept of purpose and destiny demand the existence of a mind to come up with them. Purpose is meaningless apart from mentality and will… So in the end, when the story implied there could be purpose without a directing creator, it fell into nonsense.
The first purpose for any man is that he believe in Christ. After that, it’s to be conformed to His image, and thus bring glory to God. Not by anything we do from ourselves, but from what He makes of us and how guides us and what He enables us to do.
Of course, this was not how LOST’s writers chose to deal with purpose and destiny, but the intriguing part for me was how, because of that failure, they could not come up with anything that made any sense. It was fluffy and glowy and happily ever after, but completely illogical, even almost random.
“Huh?” was the main thought I was left with after those final 10 minutes. “Huh?” and “But what about… [fill in about fifty blanks here]? The main one being, what about the Island? Why was it there? Who put it there? What was the glow? Why did that need to be guarded? Why were those particular people brought there? Why not everyone? I must say, that once Jacob was revealed to be a doofus like the rest of us, and not an analogy for God, the sense it in all started to unravel…
So while emotionally it ended well (I found a lot of the “remembering” scenes very moving), the whole purpose of the story, which I think was centered in the Island, got shuttled aside.
Unless I just didn’t see it, which is entirely possible.
I also didn’t think it was just a dream, as Lelia commented yesterday. What I think is below…
I think the Island was real, and that the world of the side-flashes was a form of purgatory, or maybe reincarnation, where people lived full second lives that were somewhat happier than their original lives, though not entirely for they still had to work through their issues to contentment and growth. Part of that was remembering who mattered from the life before — mostly in the form of right man/right woman relationships, but also friendships — and in so doing they reformed their Island community and together traveled on into eternity. (This part I thought was a cool echo of the way a local body of believers, who have served and fought side by side in this life will indeed have a special relationship in eternity).
As for eternity itself, that seemed something like the Elysian Fields… a place of eternal happiness based on human relationships and perfect environment. But no God.
Thus the ultimate message I saw is that man can fix himself. That, instead of going from perfection to chaos to salvation courtesy of a divine savior, as the Bible teaches, we go from chaos to perfection courtesy of our own efforts for self and others, combined with our sufferings…
For those of you who are LOST fans… is that how you saw it? Or do you go with the ” it was all a dream” or “they’re all dead” interpretation? Or something else entirely?