Profoundly Lost

Yes, I’m a LOST geek. It’s the only television show I’ve ever watched from start to finish (picking up in Season 2). Though it’s been far from perfect, I believe the show found its salvation in setting a finish date and working the last three seasons with an end game in mind.

Lost has espoused and explored some fascinating threads of philosophy and theology—but it’s never purported to be a Christian show, no matter how many sermon illustrations are drawn from it or how much time our Wednesday night small group spent hashing out the implications of the previous night’s episode.

Still, the finale moved me in a way that only a few other story endings have:

• The Last Battle (the final book of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles; and this despite the fact it’s one of my least favorite stories in the sequence)
• The film endings of The Two Towers and The Return of the King
• The final chapters of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (holding my breath to see if the film will pull it off)

A pat “Christian” ending to Lost would not have been effective or believable—the show wasn’t set up that way, and to twist it that direction at the end would have been cheating and ultimately unsatisfying. But the choices made in the final episode created, in my view, the most profound sense of and longing for heaven that I’ve seen on television.

In the Lost-world, the characters are able to get to their heaven through any path of choices or faiths. Clearly, that’s not the Gospel. But the essence of the heaven created on the show got some things right:

• Time lines as we understand them on this earth mean nothing in the big picture
• The people and relationships in which we choose to invest mean more than anything else we will ever do; career, possessions, position, you name it; these are the gold that will last rather than the dross that will burn away
• We are each created and placed here for a purpose, and fulfilling that calling is vital to who we are in an eternal perspective
• Death for the believer is a beautiful thing

Of course, I’m placing my Christ-centered worldview on the episode. Most won’t. But I can’t help believing that, as is the case with well-crafted stories, people will be mulling over this, asking questions.

The last 30 minutes of the episode haunted my dreams last night, have stayed with me since waking. I suspect they will be haunting many.

“He has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

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