We were standing in line at Target on Black Friday at 5:13AM. We had been in line for about 45 minutes and still had about an hour and a half left to go (unbeknownst to us, of course. The managers kept assuring everyone the cash registers were just around the river bend).
The ladies in front of us has picked up a copy of “Eat, Pray, Love”. Though normally a huge fan of Julia Roberts, I was not impressed by her choice in playing this role. The one lady asked what the movie was about, and her friend proceeded to give her this synopsis (I’m paraphrasing, of course):
“There’s this lady, and she married. She happy enough, I guess, but she feels like something is missing. So she ends up packing up all her stuff and leaving it in storage for a year, and then heads out to the world to find fulfillment. She goes to Italy for a bit, and Bali, and India too. Through it all, she keeps feeling like something is missing, something is missing… Of course, she meets someone new and divorces her husband. She’s got this friend she goes to see and in the end she ends up happy.”
After hearing the description, the friend sets the movie down on a nearby shelf and moves on. I couldn’t help but notice how much the phrase “something was missing” resonated with the one describing the storyline. She kept saying it over and over again, with true feeling, really believing the Julia’s character was in anguish over this missing element in life.
IMDb seems to agree. In their review, they write, “Liz Gilbert (Roberts) had everything a modern woman is supposed to dream of having – a husband, a house, a successful career – yet like so many others, she found herself lost, confused, and searching for what she really wanted in life.”
Like so many others…
Clearly this is a message that resonates with our culture. Something is missing. Too often, people feel like they need to leave marriages, families, and jobs in order to find fulfillment. We know the kind of fulfillment Liz was looking for only comes through a relationship with Christ, but this is not something the culture easily accepts.
I would encourage you to use this obviously popular movie and theme to draw people towards the kingdom this season. Watch the movie with a discerning eye, preparing for conversations about unhappy marriages, prayer, and finding fulfillment. If someone brings it up, share the fulfillment you’ve found in Christ. The movie clearly touches on faith, so it seems like a perfect segway to share the gospel. For a further review of this movie, check out Focus on the Family’s Plugged In Online.