Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Trusting God: Lost & Real Life
"What is the point in being afraid?" -Desmond, "Lost"
I am a big fan of the epic TV show, Lost. This is the last season, and a lot of the main plot is being revealed as a classic battle between good and evil, faith and fear, the greater meaning of life as love in contrast to selfishness. It is really quite fascinating and beautiful, as we see the characters we have grown to know and love grappling with the timeless issues of humanity.
Last night, one of the main characters, Desmond, was interacting with the representative "Devil" character (i.e., the "Smoke Monster," presently embodied as John Locke). John Locke brought Desmond to a deep well and told him that people used to dig far into the earth to try to find answers about the island. According to "John Locke," these people never found what they were looking for.
What is it that we are all looking for when we dig our own wells? We are, without realizing it, looking for God. Nothing can satisfy us but God, but instead of acknowledging and living within that reality, we dig wells in search of false satisfaction - wells of lust, greed, hunger, distraction. We try to satisfy an infinite void with finite things, all the while ignoring the source of true satisfaction that is but a prayer away.
I couldn't help but be reminded of the story of the woman at the well in chapter 4 of John's Gospel. Jesus approaches this woman and tells her that He is the source of living water, and if she drinks of His water, she will never thirst again, and will indeed inherit eternal life. She begs for this water that she may not have to keep returning to her own well, only to thirst again.
Perhaps Desmond is learning to drink of the living water. His character travels between two alternate universes: one in which he is living a life of greed and selfishness, and the other in which he is married and in love with his wife and son. When "John Locke" asks him why he is not afraid that he is alone in the woods standing in front of a well, Desmond answers, "What is the point in being afraid?"
It was funny that he made this reflection, because I had the same thoughts that morning as I waited to be put under for my wisdom tooth extraction. I could hear my heart beating quickly on the monitor, knowing that I was afraid of a negative response to the anesthesia or complications with the surgery. However, my heart calmed as I prayed for the intercession of our Blessed Mother, and I wondered, "Why be afraid? Whatever is the worst thing I could imagine happening, it doesn't matter. I can trust God to pull me through, to lead me where He desires me to go." This kind of mentality helps to put life into perspective.
When we are living a life with God, what is the point of being afraid? We can trust that no matter what happens, He will be with us. We can trust that no matter what life brings us, He will make good out of it. We can trust that if we but follow Him, we will inherit eternal life through the Living Water, Jesus Christ.
At the end of last night's episode, "John Locke" pushed Desmond down into the well. We are often pushed by the devil into our own wells, aren't we? Getting stranded within these voids can make us feel scared, hopeless, and unfulfilled. But I trust that Desmond's faith will lead him out of this despairing situation, just as I have faith that in our own lives, if we climb from our own well and plunge into that of eternal life, we will live the most fulfilling lives possible - both in this life and the next.