It has been some time since my thoughts turned to LOST, but last night I found myself noticing a parallel between Jacob (and perhaps also his adoptive mother) and Desmond.
Desmond came to the island by accident, and was given the task of pushing a button in order to protect and save the world. Jacob was raised by a woman who said she came to the island by accident and had been given the task of protecting the light and thus saving the world.
The parallel between the two situations didn’t strike me quite this way until now. It provides a useful starting point for reflection on how tasks and responsibilities which may be genuinely important can become shrouded in mystery, or the rationale can be forgotten with the passage of time, leaving those who come later wondering whether the supposedly sacred duty they have had bestowed upon them is worthy of their time.
If nothing else, this reminds us why it is important to pass on not only rules and rituals but rationales. Enveloping tasks in mystery and then calling upon people to have faith that they are important seems like a dangerous way of trying to make sure that crucial things get done.