… on The Book of Eli

I watched “The Book of Eli” on video over the weekend and it made me reflect on many things. Too bad that the message of the movie was lost in most people who were expecting a kaleidoscope of blood and gore, not to mention mayhem, ala-Mad Max (the movie was set in post-apocalyptic era anyway). There were a few maiming and decapitation, alright, to satisfy the “blood-thirsty”.

But for those who saw beyond the violence and desolation depicted or implied in the movie, The Book of Eli is an admonishment to value things that we normally take for granted today. Nothing, however, moved me more than the closing narration by Eli, the character played by Denzel Washington. It was a verse from 2 Timothy 4:6-8, which most Christians strive to have as their epitaphs:

“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

In that passage of less than 60 words, the apostle Paul has given us his farewell speech. Here, he sums up how he viewed life (as a journey) and death (as the time of departure). In just a few sentences, Paul presented a picture of a runner who has completed the race honorably, in the same way that Eli finished his 30 years of “walking west” to deliver “The Book” to its “final destination”.

The movie (and the verse) teaches us to focus not on winning, but on finishing the task (or tasks) given unto us. The Christian life is not a competition to necessarily run better than others. It is a commitment to run all the way to the finish. Eli, even in the throes of death, had kept his vow: to walk west with the Book. Unfortunately, for many of us, long-range commitment is often replaced by short-range gratification.

Picture this: people who follow Indy every year understand that the goal is not just to start well, but to finish well. Trophies are rarely handed out to those who traverse the starting line of a race. It’s not the starting line that matters so much as the finish line. The prize and the money go to those who crossed the finish line.

Nearly all of us have in our memories the hardships of previous years. Majority of us has tried to come to grips with the fact that many people have started well, left the starting line, but who have not been able to reach the finish line. Many people have been forced out of the race for one reason or another. In the end, everything has been futile. Meaningless.

Why is this so? I am tempted, really, to say, “read your Bibles”. There is no mystery to this kind of stuff. This thing is called ‘sin’. It may come in a variety of forms –- greed, envy, lust, pleasure seeking, unbelief. Bottomline is, it’s still sin.

But, I am in no position to say these things. Moreover, I honestly admit that I do not have the answers, nor will I venture a guess…


About Seeing with Brahmin eyes
My sense of humor can be keen, sarcastic, silly or corny -- sometimes all at once. I enjoy meeting new people with no preconceived ideas about what or what is not possible. You get much more out of life by being open minded and willing. I'm an easy going, good-natured person who loves life and loves people. I'm both optimistic and realistic and pretty objective when it comes to assessing situations, events, etc. In general I am a very positive person and you'll usually find we with a smile on my face.

One Response to … on The Book of Eli

  1. Pingback: A Lenten Reflection | The War Fish's Lair

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