Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Thoughts on LOST: The Constant

I haven't written about LOST for a very long time... come to think of it, for that matter it's been a fair few days since I wrote anything at all. Well, I'm back now.

I appreciate I'm a few days late, but I'm a mere mortal and don't have Sky... so I have to wait until a work colleague loans me a tape - thanks Becky!

I think "The Constant" has to rank among one of my favourite LOST episodes... yes it features some cerebrally heavy plot twists involving the consciousness of a character travelling through time, but it was a strong character episode. Specifically it was a strong Desmond episode... and Desmond is among my favourite characters. In fact I'd say that for me, he's taken the number 1 spot from Locke.

In the episode, Desmond leaves the island to try and get some answers about his long lost love Penny Widmore. He's been trapped on the island for three years and they parted on harsh terms. When a woman named Naomi arrived bearing a photo of him and Penny in each others arms... it aroused his curiosity... and he finally gets the chance to visit the boat that Naomi came from.

Unfortunately Desmond starts suffering from strange side effects as the helicopter he is travelling on, leaves the island. Desmond had already gained precognitive ability following exposure to a strong electromagnetic pulse (his consciousness is able to travel along his personal timeline). However as he leaves the island it becomes violently unstable and his consciousness from 1996 becomes trapped in his present day body... resulting in much confusion for everyone present. It becomes apparent that he has become unstuck in time. The 1996 Desmond will keep appearing in his present body and the episodes will become more violent... leading eventually to death... unless he can find some way to stabilize the effects.

He arrives at the answer through talking to another man named Daniel Faraday... who is present in both the present and the past. He advises Desmond that he needs a "constant"; something or someone who is present in his past and his present, who can anchor him into his proper place in time before he suffers from a fatal embolism.

Desmond realises that for him, this constant is Penny.... and whilst travelling back into the past, he engineers a plan to contact her before he dies in the present day. Despite her feeling quite hurt towards him in 1996, he manages to obtain her telephone number and promises to call her on the exact day in the future that is contemporary with the Desmond we know. In doing this, he hopes that he can be restored to his respective place in time.

Here is what happens next:

Confession time:

I very nearly wept at the end of that. There was so much emotion in there I was very nearly overwhelmed...the acting was excellent and the fast inter-cutting between Des and Penny really enhanced the moment.

Wow. It really grabbed me by the heart strings and touched me where I'm vulnerable...

... did I really just say that? I'm turning into a Jessie!

It also got me thinking on a much deeper level. It is so easy for us to get lost in the world. Lost and consumed by the things around us.... people, events and concerns. What happens when we wake up and realise we don't know who or where we are anymore?

How will we get home? How do we reconnect with who we truly are?

Just like Desmond, we need a constant.

We need someone who can stand beside us, someone who has always been there for us in the past... is with us right now and will always be with us in the future.

For me there is no greater example than Jesus Christ. He is the very paragon of this notion. Who else knows us as deeply as God? King David famously wrote in Psalm 139:

"O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD."
Psalm 139:1-4

"your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139:16

We may think we are lost and forlorn... but God has not forgotten us. He is but a word away... not even the cost of a phone call. He longs to hear from us. He sent his Son to pay for all our wrongs... and he is deeply desperate for us to return into his loving arms. You may recall from Sunday School, the tale of the Prodigal Son. In that story, the son who is lost comes to his senses and decides to return home. Now the way God is often misrepresented in the modern world,you might expect the Father (the character who represents him), to be standing there with a big stick ready to punish his wayward son.

Is that the response we find?

No. The Bible says this:

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him."

God was already on the lookout for his son; he embraced him despite his filth covered appearance. He accepted him and he restored him.

Similarly in Lost, Desmond could have quite easily been expecting the cold shoulder from Penny when he called her.... but er love had remained constant... despite how much he had hurt her.

The wonderful thing about unconditional love, is that it encourages a loving response. I love it in the clip how as soon as Penny has spoken affectionately,Desmond genuinely apologises for his past misdemeanours.

My challenge to you today is this. God is reaching out to you in love. He has already expressed his deep passion for you:

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:6-8

My challenge to you today is simple. Imagine you are like Desmond... holding the phone waiting to talk to Penny... but on the other end of the line is God. If you know somewhere deep in your heart that God is speaking to you of his love (in fact he has already acted upon his love, through Jesus), what is your response going to be as he hangs on the line waiting for you?

1 comment:

  1. Peace be with you Nick.
    The time has come.
    I am here to bring judgment to the living and the dead.
    The harvest is ripe. The Believers Information Network
    is there for all fellow believers.

    The Faithful Witness


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