The Book of Eli

Following a nuclear holocaust, he treks across the continent westward. He has been walking for 30 years and along the way he has overcome many obstacles some obviously lengthening his journey. Perhaps his need to memorize the book before delivery, or teach himself Braille, or purify himself to ensure the mission's success, or allow the remaining world to realize their need of what he carries, have all added years to his journey?

He has a singular mission and he lets nothing deter him-- not even mercy, least he fail. He is peaceful, even when provoked, but resilient and always victorious.

He is Eli and he carries the one remaining book to save the world. He is its defender, against all comers. And no matter the power of the opposition he does not draw back.

He is both determined and certain of his eventual success.

Denzel Washington stars as Eli, Mila Kunis as Solara, Jennifer Beals as Solara's mother Claudia, Gary Oldman as Carnegie, the iron-fisted ruler of a dilapidated town of survivors Eli stumbles through. Carnegie knows the book exists, and believes that with it he can rule the world. But Eli knows the book he carries can be used for good or bad, and the town run by Carnegie is not its destination.

The Book of Eli was released in January 2010. It is the most recent in a continuing line of movies where Denzel Washington plays a character of character. But although it has some great messages this is not a movie for young children. Some reviewers have said that Eli represents every man. These reviewers may be more on-point than they realize.

I'm sure you will enjoy it when you see it; and because some of you have not seen it yet I won't spoil it for you with more detail. But here are a few things that registered with me:  

  • When told he has no choice with regards to accepting Carnegie's invitation to spend the night before continuing his journey, he responds There is always a choice.

  • Eli has remained focused on single mission for over 30 years, and allowed himself no distractions.

  • Eli is focused on carrying-out his mission, not explaining it.

  • After surrendering the book to Carnegie to save Solara, Eli confides to Solara that he has been so busy defending the book that he has not lived by it.

In even the worse circumstance when failure appears certain, Eli remains focused on his mission.

Eli is a man with a purpose, and a man with no friends. In every circumstance he chooses his mission over his own convenience. The Book of Eli provides great motivation for each of us to start, continue and complete our mission, whatever it is.

1 Thessalonians 3:3 (KJV) That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

Jesus Embroidered