Okay…true confessions…we’ve really enjoyed the TV series, ‘Lost.’ Just goes to show…you can learn a lot from your kids…we got turned on to ‘Lost’ by one of our sons…thanks, Adam! We watched the series finale this evening…Tivo is also a wonderful addition to our lives…thanks to our other son, Brian! I have to say in the final analysis, ‘Lost’ could actually restore your faith in entertainment creativity. I was impressed by the subtle comfort of the finale…it didn’t answer all of our questions by any means, but it was profoundly satisfying. At the end, I felt our time was well spent…so I have a few thoughts to share.
We can deal with a lot of uncertainty…as long as we have some deeply fulfilling moments doing things that are truly important with others. In ‘Lost’ as in our lives, we have more questions than answers…and most of our time seems to be engaged in one struggle or another. But that’s okay…because the relationships we create in the midst of our various struggles give our lives meaning. My feeling tonight is that there is more theological and philosophical reflection in the work of these screenwriters than in the writings or speeches or sermons of most academics or clerics. ‘Lost’ was ultimately a TV program about the value of human connections…and the redeeming quality of our basic human nature.
We have many challenges…sometimes I think they are too complex and too big for any of us to meet or to conquer. But then I remember that we have the capacity to face these challenges together. We can struggle together…we can argue together…we can ask unanswerable questions together…we can understand some small truths together…we can enjoy a sunset together…we can live together…we can die together. For almost forty years now, I’ve been sharing this simple and elegant truth with couples as they share their vows of marriage with each other…many things happen to us in life, but we don’t have to go through these things alone. We may seem lost in the bigness of our problems and our universe…but, we’re never really lost if we have each other.
There’s nothing as powerful as a good story! Damn…here it is late at night, and I can’t sleep, because I once was ‘Lost’ and now I’m found! I’m gonna keep on asking the tough questions…I’m gonna keep struggling to find newly creative ways to understand our complex problems…I’m gonna keep looking for new partnerships as we find solutions to our public problems together. You don’t have to watch ‘Lost’ to be convinced that it’s our shared experience of life’s struggles and challenges that brings purpose and meaning to our seemingly small existence…but it helps.
Friends, we need each other more than you can ever imagine. So…I wish you uncertainty…and questioning…and struggle in the midst of our most difficult public policy decisions. Yes, our problems are profound and confusing. Yes, it takes a lot of time and energy and ingenuity and conversation to find solutions everyone can live with. Yes, we find our uniqueness and integrity in how we connect our lives with others, confronting our most perplexing public problems while showing respect and building trust. Invite others to join us…we’ll find new meaning in life as we ask the deepest and most difficult questions…together!