Main Point: We can experience fulfillment and a life that is worth living, by focusing on Christ and the joy that He provides.
Attention Grabber: Movie – The Island
This movie is about a community of clones, bred for the purpose of transplant/health insurance purposes. They are harvested illegally in an underground facility, under the illusion that they are the last survivors on earth, after the planet became uninhabitable. But everyone in this “big brother is watching” society has one thing that they look forward to: the lottery. Each day someone “wins” the lottery and gets to go to “the island,” a paradise where they can lay on the beach and enjoy the sun. It’s a well-written, thought-provoking movie with great action. CLICK HERE for Jonathan’s review of the film.
Clip: I wish there was more.
This particular clip takes place toward the beginning of the movie, before Lincoln discovers that the colony is a big façade. It takes place in the middle of the chapter, so it isn’t quite as easy to cue up as others. In the clip, Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) is in his doctor’s (Sean Bean) office. Lincoln has been acting strangely and so the doctor, in an attempt to monitor Lincoln, has set up a meeting. The two have a pretty long conversation about several different topics, but the clip for this particular group discussion is only a fraction of the larger conversation. Therefore, I would recommend the leader watch the entire scene and decide for himself whether to use the entire scene or just the part chosen in this particular discussion starter. But either way, the part we are using begins at approximately 13:14, and ends at 14:09, when Lincoln ends with, “Yeah, more than just waiting to go to the island.”
There are many people who just aren’t excited about their lives. Too many people, Christians included, just aren’t living a life that they can admit fulfills them. Right now we’re going to watch a scene from the movie The Island. It’s a movie about a group of clones who are living in an underground colony and are being lied to. They are being told that they are the only living people in the world, because the world has become contaminated and too dangerous to live in. But everyone in this society has one thing that they look forward to: the lottery. Each day someone “wins” the lottery and gets to go to “the island,” a paradise where they can lay on the beach and enjoy the sun. The clip we’re going to watch is a conversation between Lincoln Six Echo, played by Ewan McGregor, and his doctor, Merrick, played by Sean Bean. In the clip, Lincoln has just become bored with his life in the colony, and is tired of the same old everyday routine in the colony. But notice when we watch this clip that Lincoln basically has everything he needs. He talks about having food and clothing. He also has friends, a job, and plenty of exercise. But for some reason, Lincoln thinks there’s more to life than just these things.
- MERRICK: What’s troubling you, Lincoln?
LINCOLN: Well, it’s…it’s just…Tuesday night is tofu night. And I’m asking myself, who decided that everyone here likes tofu in the first place? And what is tofu anyway? And why can’t I have bacon? I line up every morning, and I’m not allowed any bacon for my breakfast. And let’s talk about all the white. Why is everyone wearing white all the time? It’s impossible to keep clean. I’m walking around…I just…I always get the gray stripe. I never get any color, and I hand it in to be cleaned, and someone cleans it and folds it neatly in my drawer, but who? Who is that person? I don’t know. I just…I wanna know answers, and I wish that there was more.
LINCOLN: Yeah, more than just waiting to go to the island.
Isn’t it frustrating to feel like there’s just got to be more than what this life offers? I can totally identify with Lincoln Six Echo in this scene. (Here, the leader should share a quick brief account of a time when he/she felt the same way.) I’m not the only one who can identify with Lincoln. There are many people everywhere who feel that life just isn’t giving them what they wish it would. Many people wish there were something deeper, something more exciting. Right now we’re going to split up into our discussion groups and try to figure out what life is so often missing.
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 start, let's go around the circle. Tell everyone your name and one thing that makes you bored.
- ASK A FEW: In the film clip, Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) has all that he needs to live. He has friends, clothes, food, shelter, and even a job. Why do you think he reacts to all this with the statement: “I wish that there was more”?
- ASK A FEW: What do you think would fulfill Lincoln’s life?
- ASK A FEW: Have you ever felt the same way that Lincoln feels in the scene? Explain what was going on.
- ASK A FEW: Do you find people around you are bored with life? Explain what they are missing.
- ASK A FEW: What is the difference between someone who is excited about their life and someone who isn’t? What does one have that the other doesn’t? What do the two often have in common? (For this question, I would look for answers that infer that contentment with life and fulfillment rarely have anything to do with the “things” this world has to offer us.)
Read John 10:10
”The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
We are going to read a passage from Colossians, and I want you to focus on how this relates to living the abundant life. Look for instructional/commanding words…
”Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
In The Island, Lincoln got bored with the temporary stuff of life. Similarly, if we stay focused on the earthly things around us, we’ll get bored. Jesus came to give us a life that is an adventure. He wants to make our lives abundant. He desires for us the most exciting, fulfilling, adventurous, Indiana-Jones-of-a-life possible. But the only way that we can do this is to change our focus. He is the only thing that doesn’t get old. He is the only one who never grows tired or out-of-date. We have to change our focus to the things that matter. The world tries to tell us that it has all we need. But focus on the eternal things, focus on Christ, and allow Him to fulfill your life. And through Christ, your life will be the most amazing adventure of a life possible.
Written by Matt Furby
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; 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.