LOST never was a show that everyone liked, understood or chose to work at. I did though. I watched the pilot by accident and got hooked. There has never been a television show that asked so much of it's viewers. It made it hard instead of easy. Real answers and intended meanings had to be found by researching ancient societies, religions, and origins of namesakes. You had to remember little things that happened along a character's lifespan to be able to interpret present actions so that you could hypothesize about the purpose of their future! You always knew it was ABOUT something but you didn't ever know quite what that this was... until the very end. And even then it was debatable.
Christians always hoped it would wind up being a better Christianity analogy like Middle Earth or Narnia. The Island wasn't that (although Middle Earth or Narnia weren't entirely intended to be perfect either). They were all just stories. Tolkien and Lewis did have different end-games in mind than Cuse and Lindelof... but there were striking similarities in that they were all EXCELLENTLY told stories, with MULTIPLE characters that people cared about in everyday action, with a looming, ever-present larger meaning that was never far away.
Some were disappointed to see the multi-faith symbol stained glass window behind Christian Sheppard in Eloise Hawking's church in the finale. I'll admit... that was goofy. But the more I think about what the Island WAS and the story of LOST in it's end light... the more I like what the show DID say about life in general and more specifically... a life lived interacting with God.
The adventures when get into while living life and writing our story ARE important. But it's not just for adventure sake. It's about us working out our stuff. It's a large part of what we're doing here in the first place! Philippians 2: 12-13 says:
"...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."
Christian Sheppard in explaining what that whole island was... confirmed to Jack that it WAS all real. Jack was right in the penultimate episode when he told Desmond (who was making the fatalist argument that things don't really matter because paradise awaits) that what happens here DOES matter. And in Jack WORKING at doing what he was "brought to the island to do"... he did two things. He fulfilled the greater real purpose of saving the world by defeating the evil Man in Black. He ALSO worked out many of his personal issues that were keeping him from understanding and peace. He progressively got revelation through "working out his salvation" while telling his life story of ups and downs. I like Jack.
The flash-sideways, purgatory, "place they all created to remember each other" was much maligned. While it was theological potpourri, one good thing is that from a writers point of view, it certainly was a interesting way for us to see the continued growth the the characters we'd watched grow for 6 years. We got to actually see them coming together with those they loved and shared the most important years of their lives with.
Some were annoyed at the overly simplistic ending of everyone singing Kumbayah and rockin' their collective souls in the bosom of Abraham together while holding hands and skipping into "heaven" together. They questioned whether or not the writers just gave up being interesting. I actually kinda liked it BECAUSE of it's seeming simplicity contrasted with the struggle and complexity of the island. When you stop and think about it... we don't know a heck of a lot about that whole goin' and livin' in heaven process.
I've always wondered if we'll be able to sit down and look back at our lives and find the things of real meaning hidden in various events and relationships in the light of the end. There's GOT to be a videotape room! I've always hoped that we'll be able sit down for lunch with interesting people who have gone before us and after and hear their life-with-God story to get a fuller picture. Maybe I'll share a pudding with Jackie Robinson one day. Here's hoping.
On the island, people were always fighting with each other. They'd go on missions with different groups and look down at the ones going a different way. The caves or the beach? Dogan's temple or not? It created tension... but mostly for the same reasons why we have tension between each other on earth (even between people we're in the same church/island with... with whom me have TONS in common). It's our own pride, issues, and crap manifesting while living life in a sinful world that's in the process of being redeemed through OUR process of working out salvation together.
In the end... all this stuff and these tiny adventures will look pretty meaningless in the light of God's glory. Those who we didn't get along with on earth, if we choose to "let go" like the characters were implored to do... we'll live together with them as brothers in eternity. And we'll like it. We're sharpening each other here.
This doesn't negate God's grander purposes on earth. They are real. They MEAN something to our lives, and maybe more importantly, OTHERS lives. Bringing God's Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven IS what we're doing. On the island, there REALLY WAS some kind of life-force that flawed but GOOD people were destined to protect as they grew personally.
Damon Lindelof said this a couple of days before the finale:
"You have the Bible, it tells you, you do this and this, or there are
consequences and at the end of the day, you have to choose to have
faith in that book, or not. So it really isn’t about that book, it’s
about whether or not you decide to trust it. That’s our show."
One more thing. The mysteries. The Island was always very mysterious. Some of those mysteries had answers and resolutions... some didn't. Some remained unsolved likely because the writers ran out of time to answer them (what do you want?? It was already the most expensive TV of all time BY FAR). But some intentionally remained mysteries. This is a tough pill to swallow for some who needed all the answers.
But in life (and ESPECIALLY a life lived with God) a lot of crazy stuff happens that we just... don't... understand. And we never will. A giant bird may never be calling out "Hurley" to you, but I guarantee that during the telling of your life story there will be a substantial amount of on-goings that you'll never understand. You'll just have to let go of them and trust that there is more going on around you than you see.
It's all bigger. Play your part. Go hard. In the end, we're one character in a big big life show that DOES mean something. In "As you like it", Shakespeare wrote:
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,"
then the famous monologue ends with...
"Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."
In the end... I think that LOST was an extremely creative television program. It was not the perfect analogy. Good luck finding one of those. In life, you'll encounter mystery, destiny, monotony, prophets, liars, fighters, runners, comics, sarcasm, Jacks, Sawyers, Desmond's, Widmore's, Jacob's and maybe even a Smokie or two to defeat.
Because I DO subscribe to the Christian way of thinking and living, I believe one day you'll stand before God and have to give an account of how you interacted with all these characters and scenarios and tell what you learned because of it. I know that nobody (aside from Rose in Season One praying with Charlie) called on Jesus and prayed a sinners prayer... but again... it's not a perfect Christian analogy. But one day (if you DO accept truth) we'll live in happy-land with your friends in harmony and peace. It's not too simple. It's actually extraordinarily complex... but it does feel simple and easier with the gift of an end-perspective... which we ARE given in part now and in whole later.
Good TV show. I'll miss it.