Temporary vs. Eternal
A Quick Netlflix Discussion Guide for Parents
Aeon Flux is a futuristic, science-fiction, action thriller. Charlize Theron plays the main 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.
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 solution that is helping keep the human race alive. But he knows that the solution will only be short-lived, because it is 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.
One particular scene depicts Trevor asking 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 provisional. He says, “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?”
This scene illustrates an important concept – the momentary nature of this world. Obviously Trevor is more concerned about the future, while Oren is unwilling to look beyond their present level of comfort. The city they live in is only meant to be a temporary place, but Oren 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?
Let’s talk about this some more:
- 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?
- Do you think Oren has lost focus of what’s important? Why or why not?
- What is it that Trevor sees in this scene that Oren doesn’t see?
- How do you think this idea of living in a temporary place could relate to our walk with Christ?
Let’s read 1 John 2:15-17
“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.”
John writes that “this world is fading away, along with everything it craves.” He is saying that this world is a temporary place. It’s not going to last forever. In what ways do you see people getting caught up in the temporary thrills of this world?
Why do you think people get caught up focusing on the world instead of on what will last?
What are the things that will last?
John calls us to “stop loving this evil world.” If we’re supposed to stop loving the world, what should we love instead?
Now read 1 Peter 1:13-14
“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.”
What are the things that Peter tells us here to focus on?
What are you going to do to make sure that you don’t slip back into your old ways of focusing on things of the world?
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 things 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.
Let’s 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!”
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