I love LOST unabashedly. What I love even more than the complex mysteries in the show is when the story stretches beyond the silver screen and resonates with the greater themes of our existence. I think this happens more often than most, but I realized it in a whole new way the other day. Let me share…
Both die hard and less enthused fans of the show can at least agree that episode 4.5 – The Constant – is the best 42 minutes the show has offered. Other episodes have come close, but that episode stands alone as the finest in the television serial. The gist of the episode? Desmond’s consciousness is skipping from time period to time period without warning due to, well, a series of events that is too complex to explain here. He risks frying his brain unless he is able to find an anchor, or a constant, that can root him in the time-space continuum (Sound confusing? It is, and my arts degree will do little to help explain it).
Desmond has lived in a world of unknowns. He was shipwrecked on a mysterious island (?!). He was recruited to push a button every 108 minutes in order to save the world (?!?!). He may or may not have died, and been resurrected when the hatch implodes (?!?!?!). Now, as he leaves the island for the first time, his mind is thrown a curveball, and randomly jumps to different periods of his life. When and where his mind goes is unknown. All that is known is this: unless he finds his constant, these unknowns will finally take their toll on his life.
People love this episode because Desmond is finally able to reach his constant – his true love Penny – and regain his consciousness and life in the process. As well, it’s a moment of extreme joy that fans have rooted for as they see Desmond’s pain of being separated from Penny finally resolved in a sense. She has been waiting/searching for him as long as he’s been gone, and there’s hope for an eventual reunion. Finally, for a guy who has experienced so much hardship, something goes right.
So how does this relate to our existence? Well my friends, it’s in the concept of a constant. Life seems to be this never-ending journey into new unknowns – new experiences in waiting. But what happens when major change occurs, and we’re thrust into major unknowns?
As the above picture notes, I’m moving into a rather large unknown in the near future. Everything I’ve known as my home and environment is about to change, and I don’t know what the future will look like. What I could not imagine is stepping into unknowns like these without my constant. Much in the same way Desmond’s life is saved by his constant, so is my life continually saved by my constant. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know what I’m talking about.
My experience with the Kingdom of God has been one where I’m thrust out of my fear of change and into new experiences into unknown territories. It can often be scary and overwhelming, but I can safely say that I have experienced the reward of following and the true safety of resting in my constant. As I take this new step in the journey, I find solace in knowing, and continuing to grow in my experience of, my constant.