Movie Clip: Aeon Flux, PG-13
Main Point: We must remember that this world we live in is temporary, so we must not conform to it.
Attention Grabber: Movie – Aeon Flux
This movie, starring Charlize Theron, is a futuristic, science-fiction, action thriller. Charlize Theron plays the character Aeon Flux, a super-efficient operative. She is part of a rebellion set out against the government in the last remaining city on Earth. The movie has lots of action and creative special effects. Unfortunately, the movie has an implied sex scene and several other scenes that sport unnecessary cleavage. As it is, I don’t think that I personally would recommend this movie to watch on the bus on the way to the junior high winter camp.
Clip: Meant to be Temporary
This particular clip does not actually feature the character Aeon. Instead, it features a conversation between two men, the leaders of the totalitarian government. One man, Trevor Goodchild, is working on a solution that will allow the human race to once again populate the world. His colleague, Oren, prefers not to find a solution, so that the people can remain in the nice little utopia they have already established. The clip begins in the middle of a conversation, so proper cueing is highly recommended. However, if your DVD player isn’t “cue-easy,” then it is better to err on the side of starting your clip earlier in the conversation. I suggest beginning at approximately 21:09 in the middle of chapter 4. The first line will be, “And what about the test results?” This particular clip to be used ends at 21:47, after Oren says, “Things change.” The clip chosen is only a little more than half a minute.
Introduction to the Clip:
Say this to introduce the clip… The following clip is from the movie Aeon Flux—some of you may have seen the movie. This 30 second clip captures the dilemma that this film is about. In this future world only one colony of people have survived a disease that killed off every human on the entire planet. A man named Trevor Goodchild has found a temporary solution that is helping keep the human race alive. But Goodchild knows that the solution is only temporary and not beneficial for the people in the long run. His brother Oren isn’t looking long term. He prefers not to find a solution so that the people can remain in the nice little utopia they have already established. In this scene, Trevor asks Oren about the test results, hoping to finally find a solution. Oren reports negative results and tries to talk Trevor into just “selling out” to something that's meant to be temporary.
Trevor: And what about the test results?
Oren: All negative. Sorry.
Trevor: Find me a new test group by morning.
Oren: Maybe it’s time to give up on the tests, Trevor. We’re living the solution already. This is perfection. Why can’t you just embrace it?
Trevor: You see what’s happening to people. You know how desperate this has become.
Oren: It can be contained. Controlled.
Trevor: I think that you’re forgetting that this was all meant to be temporary.
Oren: We’ve always said that, but why should it be?
Trevor: Because it’s wrong.
Oren: Things change.
End clip at approximately 21:47.
In this scene we see a huge problem. One guy is focused on the future, while the other is focused on the now. The city they live in is only meant to be a temporary place, but the one focused on the now has become so used to living where he is, that he has lost his vision for a better future. He looks around and says, “Maybe this shouldn’t be temporary. It’s good enough.” Wouldn’t you be frustrated if you were talking to this guy about the future?
Right now we’re going to break up into our small groups and discuss the idea of being content in this world vs. focusing on what’s still to come.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we begin, let's go around the circle. Say your name and your favorite food.
- ASK A FEW: How would you like it if you had to eat that food and only that food for the rest of you life? Would you ever get tired of it? What would it be like?
- ASK ONE OR TWO: Then would you say that even your favorite food is best left “temporary”?
- ASK A FEW: After watching the video clip, how do you feel about Oren, the man who thinks that they should just embrace the world they live in, instead of treating it as temporary? Why?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think Oren has lost focus of what’s important? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: What is it that Trevor sees in this scene that Oren doesn’t see?
- ASK A FEW: How do you think this idea of living in a temporary place could relate to our walk with Christ?
- Read 1 John 2:15-17a (NLT)
Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world. And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves.
- Read 1 Peter 1:13-14 (NLT)
So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ. Obey God because you are his children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of doing evil; you didn’t know any better then.
There’s something really interesting about Oren, the character in the scene who was saying that he’d prefer to stay in the temporary world. And that is that he didn’t originally have that viewpoint. Oren started out just like Trevor, eager to see the people move out of the city and grow and have a much more free existence. But as time went on, Oren started looking around him instead of looking forward at the goal. If we are going to be able to treat this world as a temporary place, we must remember to keep our eyes focused on the right thing. Once we begin looking around at the world and getting caught up in the thrill of the now, we risk the danger of losing focus. It’s okay to have fun in the world. But if the things we are caught up in hurt our relationship with God, if they are sinful things or thigns that simply steal our focus from God, we begin to be like Oren, wanting to stick around in a place we weren’t created for. We must keep our eyes focused on the blessings of a life with Christ. We can’t afford to see this world as anything greater than a temporary place. God has something much better for us.
I’ll close by reading an excerpt from the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia, The Last Battle. The author, C.S. Lewis, paints an incredible picture of the world to come:
“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All of their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before!”
Written by Matt Furby
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.