Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lost in the Wrong Motivations

or: The Beginning and The End, or the Mystery in the Middle

“Man no longer lives in the beginning--he has lost the beginning. Now he finds he is in the middle, knowing neither the end nor the beginning, and yet knowing that he is in the middle, coming from the beginning and going towards the end. He sees that his life is determined by these two facets, of which he knows only that he does not know them.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Creation and Fall/ Temptation)

“There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler.” –Also, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It is entirely possible that the creators of Lost had Dietrich Bonhoeffer in mind when creating the series. The problems and frustrations a lot of people had with the series and its final season were largely based on the desire to know about the beginning and endings of things. People wanted to know exactly what the island was and how it all came to be. They were sent away disappointed because, just like in real life, such questions are not knowable to those currently in the middle of things.

What answers did the series provide? That:

In life we all have a purpose.

We cannot hope to fully understand every little detail about our lives.

We can fight that impossibility and never find fulfillment, or that we can choose to trust that someone does know how our lives will best be lived and live in that faith.

There is a real difference between good and evil and that we do not decide which is which, they simply are.

We all must choose which side we will follow and accept the consequences of our choices.

Repentance and forgiveness are possible and people can be redeemed.

Not a bad sampling of things you can know for sure in the story known as Lost. The Bible is very similar in some ways. Those looking for answers to questions such as: How exactly did God create everything? How exactly will the world end? will ultimately be disappointed. All the Bible says is: God made everything and in the end His plans and ways will be victorious. However, when it comes to the stuff about the middle—the journey every one of us is on now—there are a lot of answers to be had.

In the end, our meaning is found in the now. Who do we trust? Who do we follow? Are we fulfilling the purpose that we were created to fulfill? Are we telling a story that will be worth repeating when the finale has aired?

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