This morning I cried like a baby after watching ABC’s Lost sixth season finale. Like most fans, I couldn’t believe after six seasons it was THE END (the name of the finale).
Whether you are a raving Lost fanatic who fully intends to buy all six seasons on dvd (like me, although I promise I don’t own a Dharma Initiative jumpsuit), you’re someone who just finds it interesting as well as other shows like The Bachelorette, The Biggest Loser, and Dancing With The Stars (like the majority of Americans), or you believe Lost is a complete waste of time and absolutely ridiculous (like Dave Ramsey who says, “Millionaires don’t know who’s lost on the island), we can’t deny that Lost has made an incredible impact on all of America and even the world.
In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported that the 2 1/2 hour series finale attracted an average audience of 13.5 million viewers according to ABC, ratings which won the top spot of the night. Wikipedia says, “It has won numerous industry awards including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 2005, Best American Import at the British Academy Television Awards in 2005, the Golden Globe for Best Drama in 2006 and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series. ”
Lost has become “a part of American popular culture with references to the show appearing in other t.v. series, commercials, comic books, webcomics, humor magazines, a video game and song lyrics. The show’s fictional universe has also been explored through novels, board and video games, and alternative reality games, The Lost Experience and Find 815.” (Wikipedia)
Lost was filmed in beautiful Oahu, Hawaii, and was one of the most expensive shows ever filmed on t.v. According to Wikipedia, the show’s two part pilot episode reportedly cost between US $10 and $14 million, compared to the average cost of an hour-long pilot in 2005 of $4 million.
Yes, Lost powerfully impacted America and the world. The show and especially its finale struck a deep spiritual chord within me. For weeks I have dreaded the show’s final ending, and cried much this morning over the main character Jack’s death and the sad ending.
No matter if you are a faithful Lost follower or in Dave Ramsey’s disgusted camp over Lost, hang in here with me. I do believe there are some lessons to glean from Lost, valuable gems of relevant, real-life truth. Here is my take on it:
1. We’re all lost. I confess this isn’t my original thought, but I borrowed this one idea from the OTHER Beth Jones (http://www.bethjones.org) and from The Gospel of Lost (Chris Seay, http://www.amazon.com/Gospel-According-Lost-Chris-Seay/dp/0849920728). We’re all messed up, confused, don’t know what we’re doing, hurt, prone to sin, and we desperately need a Savior.
We find salvation in Jesus Christ alone. He is the only one who can give us wisdom, get us on the right path, and restore us to a right relationship with God our creator. Some fans think Jacob in Lost played the part of God; others think he was evil and mean. (Isn’t that the way people really view God?)
2. We all die at some point, Christian Shephard told his son Jack in the finale. The question is, are we ready to meet our Maker? Are we doing what we’re called to do? And what do we leave behind after we’re gone? Live with a handful of no regrets!
3. We make choices every day. We all have the potential for good and bad within us. This is not a yin-yang philosophy, but the reality of our Adamic sin nature. Sayid, who tortured people in the Iraqi Republican guard, also seemed at times to be a gentle, loving soul – especially with Shannon. In the finale Hurley told him, “Sayid, you’re a good man.” We can choose to follow Christ or we can walk away from him.
The choices of our lives have far reaching consequences whether for good or bad, such as: Dr. Christian Shephard being under the influence of alcohol as he operated on a patient (resulting in termination of his license); Claire choosing to have her baby instead of aborting despite the father not wanting to be in the picture; Sayid tormenting people – and then running with the bomb on the submarine that took his life but saved his friends’ lives; Charlie deciding not to take any more drugs; Kate taking care of Claire’s baby after they leave the island, becoming like his mother; Michael betraying his friends to get his son Walt; Jin working for Sun’s violent father; Jack agreeing to take Jacob’s place to protect the island, save his friends, and ultimately dying. Our choices today affect all of our tomorrows. Our lives today will be remembered in our eternity, as the flash sideways showed.
4. What really matters is our relationships with others. In the finale, the main cast members were all gathered together in a church, smiling, laughing, filled with joy to see each other again. Let’s face it, we often get uptight over such trivial things in our relationships. We argue and cause each other great hurt and pain. We hold onto unforgiveness and grudges. But we need to just love God and each other. We need to live intentionally, a life that really matters, a life leaving a godly legacy – fulfilling our destiny in Christ. In the end, Jin and Sun only wanted to be reunited together again as man and wife, despite their marriage difficulties – and Jin was willing to drown with his wife so she would not die alone. That is the kind of self-sacrificing love that God has called us to give Him and others.
“This is the place you all made together so you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time you spent with these people [on the island]. That’s why you’re all here. Nobody does it alone, Jack: you needed all of them, and they needed you … to let go.” — Christian Shephard to Jack, in Lost finale.
5. We were born for a purpose, a destiny. We always knew Jack was the leader on the island, but he proved it in the end when he volunteered to take Jacob’s place. What is your purpose? Why are you here? Do you know? Are you fulfilling it? Jack sought the answer to this question the entire six seasons, and he finally discovered it in his role of leader and protector.
6. Our perspective colors our lives. Sawyer (James) and the Man in Black viewed the island as hell and a place of bondage; John Locke believed it was a special place, a place of miracles, a place of adventure and excitment where he belonged. Same place, different and opposite perspectives. How do you view your life, your current circumstances? Do you have a postive or a negative outlook? Can you find adventure and excitement each day, or do you dread getting out of bed in the morning and want to pull the covers over your head?
7. We have to battle fears in life, but God’s perfect love casts out all fear. I believe that in Lost, the ferocious polar bears, the wild boars, the Others, and the black smoke monster represent our larger-than-life fears. Fear can be an overwhelming thing, but we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and not allow the “monster” of fear to paralyze us and keep us from our purpose in Christ.
8. All the questions aren’t going to be answered – like why Kate and Sun always looked so good every episode, on a deserted island where there’s no shopping centers, blow dryers, flat irons, or cosmetic stores. There are some upset and irate fans over all of the questions on Lost not being answered. But that is like real life. There’s some things here we just can’t figure out. God is the only one with all the answers. It is not meant for us to know – maybe not until after we die, maybe never. Personally the unanswered questions give me hope for a seventh season of Lost!
9. Die to self. Be a Hurley, not a Michael. Michael was intolerably rude and always looking after himself; no wonder he wasn’t allowed back for the finale! Hurley was faithful, loyal, nice, always trying to help others, to be supportive, and to be a peace maker. Of all the people who “deserved” love, long life, and happiness in Lost, it was Hurley – and his one true love on the island, Libby, DIED, for crying out loud. (The flash sideways allowed her to get out of the insane asylum to go on a date with him to the beach – at least that was something for Hurley.) Hurley shows us the importance of faithfulness and friendship until the very end.
10. Get over it. Some upset or irate fans are screaming about the Lost finale – it was a cop-out, it was confusing, the nerve of the show’s writers to kill Sun, Jin, Jack, and to make the parallel universe not even REAL! I had to google this one and read “The Five Types of Lost Fans” by staff writer Tim Surette on TV.com, about these angry fans. http://www.tv.com/the-five-types-of-lost-fans/story/21490.html
What I found in this article was hysterically funny:
“Highly devoted through Season 1, still fans during Season 2, and near-absentees during Season 3, these picky people have had it up to HERE! with Lost. The endless questions, the lack of answers! Who do those producers think they are!? They’ll still begrudgingly tune into the show now, but only to remind themselves how right they were to not watch the show in the first place and give them ammunition to tell you why you are an idiot for still watching the show. And don’t even get them started on time travel or parallel realities, because it will give them a stroke. They’re also watching: Nothing, because they’re too busy complaining and whining on message boards. Identifying signs: Inability to wait until Christmas or other seasonal holidays to open their presents, high blood pressure.”
Now please. I understand being upset about Jack dying – he was one of my favorite characters, very likeable, compassionate, strong, intelligent leader. I am definitely a Jater (I wanted Jack and Kate to be together in the end, as opposed to a Skater -Kate and Sawyer being together). Really, I just BAWLED this morning over Jack’s death. Yes, I felt sad that Jin an d Sun died after finally being reunited so happily again. Yes, it is annoying that some questions were unanswered, like what on earth was the black horse all about and why did they sometimes show Jacob as a boy? Where DID the polar bears come from since this was a tropical island? So many other questions never answered. But there’s no use in getting MAD about it. Just get over it!
11. Love the unlovely. Ok, I admit it, I NEVER liked Juliet, Ben, Flocke (Fake Locke, alias the smoke monster), Ethan, or the Others. I always felt that Juliet was deceitful, manipulative and besides, she was always a threat to Jack’s and Kate’s relationship (I am a Jater, remember?). When she was written out of the script, I was glad (although she reappeared in the finale.) It’s hard to agape love some people (even the Juliets), but that is what God has called us to do and to be – for He is love.
12. Yep, this is it! The parallel universe isn’t real. We have to give up our expectations of things needing to be perfect. This is all we have – right now. That is why we need to really live each day the life that God wants us to live, today – valuing what is most important – God and our relationships with others. In an ideal universe, Jin’s and Sun’s baby would not be an orphan, Claire would be emotionally stable, Libby wouldn’t have died and would be marrying Hurley and making him happy, Sayid would be a good man, Jack and Locke would be friends, Sawyer would be an honest, hard working cop, Christian would be a good father, Juliet wouldn’t exist and Sun would look awful without makeup (just kidding), and couples would be happy and in love like Jack and Kate. But this isn’t an ideal world. It’s a sin-sick world, a world where there’s pain, sorrow, violence, injury, even death – one desperately in need of a savior, Jesus. We have to take the lives God has given us, perplexing and difficult as they are at times, and make the most of them. Love others, forgive others, and be thankful for all God has given us each day.
There are so many other lessons from Lost that I don’t have room for here. The show made me laugh, cry, wonder. Each week I looked forward to it, and it is going to be an ache in my heart that I won’t get to see it anymore. I have come to know and love the characters, and watched their decisions, their lives, with fascination. I will greatly miss Lost, but it has made a big impact on me – to look at my own life as one with choices for good or bad, to value my relationships, to help others, to consider and fulfill my ultimate purpose, to love and laugh much in my time here – and to eventually move on, hopefully leaving an indelible mark on the heart of others, as the Lost characters have in my heart.
To the producers and writers of Lost, thank you so much!
You Tube video of Lost (the ending is abrupt, but love the recap and music):