It's taken me 119 out of the 121.5 hours of the show, but I've finally figured all of Lost out. Surprisingly, I figured it out away from the actual show. You see, over the past five years I have made friends all over North America. I have friends back home in Kingsport, friends from Harding, friends I interned with in Huntsville, friends here in Canada, and friends all over the place. One thing that brings many of us together: Lost. This show has created a community. Not just the annoying internet community of message boards and blogs that meticulously scan evidence like a CSI team, come up with stupid theories, or endlessly complain to the point that you wonder why they even watch the show. But it's a community of people who I love in my life that I enjoy discussing, debating, and theologically analyzing the show with. I love after every episode texting my friend Drew, theorizing with my friend Wes on facebook chat, commenting on my youth minister's blog, and coming up to my friends at church saying, "Yo, did you SEE Lost?"
Above all, that's what I'm going to miss most about Lost when it ends Sunday night. I'm going to miss the characters, and the twists and turns of the plot, and how it always keeps me guessing, and the producers' podcasts, and the emotion, drama, and fun of Lost. But mostly I'm going to miss the conversations (many of them deeply spiritual) and the enjoyment I get out of sharing in this great show with a community around me (many of whom live thousands of miles away).
And in "The End" (pun intended), I think that's what Lost is all about. The show is about a group of characters who are seeking out redemption in a journey of renewal as a community. They do it through several interlocking (both past, present, future, and sideways) relationships that often conflict, encourage, disintegrate and cooperate. Whether the characters are dealing with parental issues, sins they have committed, emotional and spiritual baggage; together many have learned that the past doesn't matter and they can grow as a group into who they were meant to be. The show has taught us that our relationships and the choices we make with them MATTER, both in terms of how they affect those around us, but more importantly in the way ALL of our stories intersect with THE story that is being told through all creation.
In the fifth episode of season one, Jack makes a statement that soon became the mantra of the show that the characters must "Live together or die alone." And this is true on a small level with the groups of fans that enjoy the show together. But mostly on a meta-level that all of us can either choose to wallow alone in isolation or instead to reach our highest capacities of redemption and fulfillment both as individuals and as a people when we truly journey together in community. And isn't that truly what the kingdom of God is all about? A flawed and broken people joining together, bearing each others' burdens, and building each other up into a new creation as we seek to become a part of the story God has been telling.
And maybe that is how we all journey from Lost.......to Found.