How the LOST Series Finale Was Deeply Personal and Why I Loved It

I’m turning 40 this year, and I’ve been having a hard time with this reality.

I think I’m scared that my life is “over.” That somehow I’ve missed my “greater purpose.” That I’ve made my rut and now I’m doomed to tread it with bills and groceries and the carpool line.

(And I know, I know that I’m blessed with a great life and healthy kids and a wonderful husband, but, hey—I’m being honest about my warts—when I wallow in self too long.)

And so, to the Lost series finale, I brought my pity party.

I remember when Lost premiered in 2005. I’d watch the promos that summer and think, What an idiotic premise for a show! But after the show began, a friend suggested we watch it. 
We did, and we were hooked. I spent my first trimester pregnant with twins—battling the nausea and all—watching the show.  We never missed an episode, not even that first season’s finale, when we were walking zombies because of acid refluxy twins. 
The brillance of Lost was something to look forward to every week. 
And, frankly, as I pondered its demise this year, I was just a little bit heartbroken. 
It’s been a chapter of loss in our book lately anyway. I ended 2009 with friends and loved ones battling cancer and enduring marital strife. I began 2010 with constant prayer vigil for a college friend who was missing in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. We eventually learned that he died in the earthquake. Our precious church of almost 11 years closed it doors. A few months later, flood waters destroyed chunks of our city, washing away our friends’ and loved ones’ homes and lives.

Loss and pain have been all around me.

It’s trivial, I know, to be so attached to a television show. Still, it was my weekly escape. Lost brought me into its world for one hour each week. I laughed and cried and loved these characters. I scratched my head and pontificated at plot twists and cultural references. It motivated the artist—the writer—in me to be deliberately creative. 
I was better for having immersed myself into the Lost culture. 

What I found surprising as I watched the finale, though, was the way that God brought it to me as a deeply personal experience. God gave me useful insight into my own dealings with suffering and insufficiency. He gave me tools to deal with my own searching and trepidation.

Because of its treatment of life and death, pain and comfort, purpose and journey, I discovered some things about myself. While I acknowledge the show was not theologically sound, it was nonetheless effective in drawing me nearer to the heart of God. The artistry of the storytelling broke through some of my own questions and quandaries.

In the next post, I’ll talk more about my take on the theological nuances and symbolism of Lost.