This Sunday is the end of Lost, ABC’s hit TV show about 48 people who end up stranded on a mysterious island in the South Pacific Ocean after their plane crashes. The passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 soon find out that the island holds mysterious powers. Over the past six seasons, viewers have patiently waited for the answers to questions: what is the island and why are these people stuck there?
I’ve only started watching Lost since February, but as you might have guessed I’ve become a big fan. Through mini-Lost marathons, I’ve finally caught up with the millions of fans for the last two episodes that air this week. As I eagerly anticipate the ending of Lost, I wanted to share five themes of the show that have resonated with me as a Catholic.
If there’s one theme of Lost that gets people caught up in the show, it’s mystery. Like any good sci-fi or action story, Lost succeeds in its story telling by not telling the whole story. Mystery is also a core component of our lives. We know the beginning and the end of the story. Our God has given us life and wants us to be in relationship with Him. God is revealing a beautiful story in our lives; we don’t see everything, and that’s a good thing. We won’t be able to explain every question that comes along, but we know the Truth and the ending of the story.
48 passengers survived the Oceanic 815 crash. When the hope of rescue faded, the survivors could only rely upon each other. Their only hope for survival was to trust each other. In our lives, community can take a lot of shapes and forms. It’s our family, our Church, our friends, our schoolmates, and our teammates. Community is not a choice; it’s a necessity. Community gives us a place to love others and to be loved by them in return.
Lost is a show about people being lost in their life. They are isolated on an island and they are alone in their relationships before coming to the island. Feeling lost at times is a part of life, but God desires for you to be found, to be in His embrace, to know His love. Whenever you feel lost, run back to God. He will never leave you alone or abandoned.
There is a desire by every character on Lost to find meaning and purpose in their lives and the mysterious island seems to offer some answers. As the show closes, the characters will have to face a choice: have faith that there is a purpose to the island or keep trying to get off the island. You also may wonder why you are here, what purpose you have in this life, and how you are called to love. For some of you, the answers might be clear and the response to God’s invitation may be easy. For others, you might need your whole life to figure out who you are. For each of us, the journey will look different. Prayer and discernment will help you make a free and conscious decision. Continue to believe that you were made for a purpose and that you are given the choice to love.
Lost’s main writers recently remarked, “if there’s one word that we keep coming back to it’s redemption.” No other theme in Lost is more important than redemption. Each character has been taken out of their old world to be redeemed and made whole. Each character’s journey towards redemption brings up the old wounds, but slowly they come to new life. We have been redeemed. We have been made new. This is the Good News. We die with Christ to be reborn in Him. If you find yourself lost or deep in sin, know that our God is always there to give you new life.
Lost has been an entertaining show to watch, but it’s not the Gospel. Our redemption comes from Christ, not from any philosophy or story. Sometimes, though, stories can help illuminate the true story of salvation. As I watch the final episodes of Lost, I know that this is just a story. True redemption is in Christ.