Theology in “Lost”

Theology is everywhere, especially in what we watch, and one of my favorite shows “Lost” is no exception. Biblical parallels and symbols can be found all over this show and one character in particular highlights our lives as believers rather well.

Back in 2005 a television series on Fox aired called, “Lost”. I remember every Wednesday nights as a family we would gather around to be terrified by “the others” or the island, and my personal favorite, The Dharma Initiative. Lost was one of those shows that was a constant cliff-hanger. We used to joke that not even the directors of the series knew where it was going. Fast forward to 2015,  as I re-watching the entire series one character in particular had caught my eye as I attempted to plunge through this infinitely confusing television series. His name was John Locke (no, not the english philosopher though he is named after him).

John Locke is an interesting character. Though he took-off paralyzed, the crash on the island mysteriously gives him his legs back. From then on he is the strange old man who is always in the corner thinking, hunting, silently leading and guiding the group, trying to find himself and his purpose on the island. Through out the series he loses and gains his legs back several times, and though the entire group is dead set on leaving the island, Locke is convinced that they must stay. Though he cannot explain, he knows in his heart that his destiny is on the island.As I watched this man’s journey in this fictional T.V. series I couldn’t help but realize that his journey is one that resembles the Christian life in 3 distinct ways.

1. Locke Steps Back

You see Locke had no idea why he was on the island, he had no intentions of being there but none the less he finds himself stranded. This is us. We, often times, are lost. We usually find ourselves in dire circumstances that we did not ask for whether that be financial debt, broken relationships, loss of loved one, or even being stranded on an island. But similarly, like Locke, we must take a step back in the corner and think.

A couple of months ago I taught on the book of Habakkuk, and in that book we see an interesting process that the prophet goes through when he finds himself and his nation in a dire situation. Habakkuk steps back and stands on what he knows, and in chapter 1 verse 12 – chapter 2 verse 20 he finds that God is eternal, holy, almighty, and faithful. We must do the same: When we don’t know, we must stand on what we know, and we know God is eternal, holy, almighty, and faithful.

2. Locke Searches

It is not until the last few seasons that Locke finds what he is looking for. Most of his time on the island is spent searching. He searches for many things; why is he there, what is his purpose, what is the island. My hope is that we as followers of Jesus Christ are asking these same questions; what am I here, what is my purpose, who is the Infinite God I serve.

The Bible says in Jeremiah 29, verse 13, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Often times I want to find God, but I have to ask myself, “Am I seeking God with all my heart?” See it is not just enough to half heartedly attempt to search for God. It’s not enough to know simply about Him. It is about seeking Him with everything you’ve got in order to build true and genuine affections for our great king.

3. Locke Presses On

On thing that becomes abundantly clear in the show is that Lock will not give up. He continually presses on towards his goal of finding the answers to all the questions he asks. Locke’s courage and boldness to press on reminds me of the words of Paul in Philippians.

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” – Philippians 3:13-16

We will encounter extremely difficult times in our lives. But as paul says, forget what is behind and strain forward to what lies ahead. Press on. Strive for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I like how Paul ends his thought here. He tells us to hold on to what we have. Often times in the midst of troubles we forget what we are called to, the promises we’ve been given, and how far God has gotten us. The Bible tells us that our testimonies are a powerful weapon. When we encounter hard times we must answer them by remembering what our God has done for us in Christ Jesus.

So let us apply the theology of John Locke to our lives by taking a step back, searching, and pressing on.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:8-9

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