Lately I've been wondering a lot about Hurley in terms of his affect on the island or more specifically, on what Jacob's plans might be. Sometimes Hurley seems like the fly in the ointment, or the sand in the gears, of what we are told by Ben and Locke is "supposed to happen" on the island. Because there were so many events that might have deterred Hurley from getting on Flight 815 in the first place, it makes me wonder if his being on the island is a good or bad thing for Jacob, Ben, and Locke. Hurley's clock fails that morning so he's late for the flight, and then all the other series of stumbling blocks happened that stalled but did not stop him. And didn't the gate attendant tell him that he was not even supposed to be on that flight? But his determination gets him a place on the plane after all.
On the island, although Hurley still thinks that he is cursed, his persistence there seems to defy his "bad luck". He manages via his optimistic influence on his fellow castaways to enhance their morale and existence on the island, he helps to make better plans for their survival, and he does his share of saving the day when the other "leaders" don't feel that he can be counted on as shown in the finale of Season 3 most of all. He does all these things as a sort of behind-the-scenes silent leader of the group. So Hurley is a very positive influence on the island for the castaways as the unofficial "project manager" of the their post-crash survival.
But what kind of influence is he having on the survival of the island itself? Hurley's actions could be systematically undoing or hindering what Jacob and Ben have been trying to repair since the crash. Have Jacob and Ben not even really noticed that Hurley is such a force, because he is such a mild-mannered leader who is also a sort of "man behind the curtain" in his own humble way? After all, they had him in captivity on the dock and they let him go! Perhaps they don't notice Hurley as a force to be reckoned with because he's not a chest thumper like Jack, Sawyer, or Locke. Could it be that Jacob can't read everyone? Or is it because Hurley hasn't had a mind reading encounter with Smokey yet that keeps Jacob from getting a bead on Hurley's character and his moral fortitude? If some people were indeed meant to crash on the island, maybe Hurley was not one of them and his positive actions are also helping to slowly chip a hole in the dyke that is going to explode open in Season 4!