LOST: The Importance of Nobody

Leslie Arzt chats with Hurley about not being considered one of the important ones.

Once on the island, as is naturally expected, leaders began to emerge almost immediately after the crash of Oceanic flight 815. Jack seemed to be the natural leader, but as his weaknesses were exposed others came into prominence. Locke and Sayid have had their moments in the sun. Even Sawyer and Charlie have taken the helm a time or two, but it seems the story always comes back to Jack. I think the writers did an excellent job of not letting LOST become The Jack Shepherd Story. The second to last episode in season one, focuses the attention on the importance of the nobody.

At this point in the series The Others have yet to make an appearance (aside from Ethan), but the mysterious Danielle Rousseau has come to tell the survivors that The Others are coming to kidnap Claire’s baby. After a discussion about what to do, Rousseau informs them that she has access to dynamite that might be used to blow open The Hatch and give shelter from the coming raid. While they were putting together a team to go and retrieve the dynamite, the loud and sarcastic Arzt volunteers to go.  An oversensitive high school teacher, Arzt is concerned that he is not considered one of the big players on the island. He complains to Hurley that even in the high school where he teaches that staff members overlook him.

Arzt, in fact, has only been seen and not really heard from on the island since the crash. Only in backflashes, later in the series, do we learn that he has assembled a lab of sorts with some of the insect species on the island that are not found anywhere else. This plays an important role in the annoying episode about Nikki and Paulo (season three’s ‘Expose’). As it all goes, though, Arzt is a nobody in the plot of the story. In his bid to become an important player, he gives Jack, Kate, and Locke a lesson in transporting old dynamite safely. One small move and…

Yep, Arzt makes a small move and blows himself to smithereens. In a sort of self-parody, the writers acknowledge that there are many stories on the island, although the focus is only on a few.

I wonder how many churches are focused on the abilities and skills of a few, while most are in the shadows never using their talents? Natural leaders emerge naturally, spiritual leaders emerge supernaturally. Some are leaders in churches because they can run a business, have amassed a fortune, or have a charismatic presence. When we remember the priesthood of believers, we recognize the importance of the ‘nobody’ – the one that the world will overlook. Our churches are overflowing with unused talent and strengths. We should always be encouraging every member of the Body to exercise their talents and share the richness of their blessings with the community.

But there’s something else here, too. Arzt is really hard to be around. He is continually tooting his horn, belittling others, interjecting sarcastic remarks, and feeling that others are looking down on him. Do you know someone like this? Perhaps what they need most is someone to really care about them. People need to be loved and cared for – everyone does. It’s too easy to dismiss people who are consistently annoying. We can believe that they are dispensable. In contrast, we always need to look for the beauty of God’s creation in each individual person. Sometimes those people that we have ignored can self destruct … destroying relationships in desperate attempts to be seen … heard…appreciated.

In our trek through Island Earth, let’s not forget to notice the LOST people around us…the ones that are left behind because they are perceived by some as being of no use. They may have just the information we need to make it through our next dangerous adventure. Or they might just blow up. It could happen!

LINKS:

All LOST fans will want to watch the seven short ‘Missing Pieces’ clips located HERE.

Lostpedia.

Brant has some challenging thoughts about “church” that I think are worth some time. As the guy who does the preaching I’m not ready to dump the teaching time … but I think any form of teaching has merit … and I wonder if someone thinks that because they do not go to a building they are somehow ‘not the church’? In escaping CHURCH he discovered church. I think we all have something to learn from that.

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