Catching Fire, I saw a trailer for a new movie that would be based on another book trilogy - Divergent. I love great stories and one of my friends at the movie with me indicated that the book had been recommended to her by a friend.
So, within a day or so, I had started reading the book. It didn't take me long to finish all three.
And so there I was Sunday night, on the edge of my seat as I watched the movie. I was not disappointed…not even close.
Divergent is a fascinating story, set in a dystopian society where Chicago had once been. Stories are the stuff life is made of, and this is a doozy. Frankly, the two hours and twenty minutes of the movie flew by. There was not a moment where I was even tempted to look at my watch.
WARNING: MILD SPOILERS AHEAD
Wikipedia summarizes the premise as follows:
In a post-apocalyptic future in the city of Chicago, survivors have been divided into five factions based on their predispositions:Abnegation, for the selfless; Amity, for the peaceful; Candor, for the honest; Dauntless, for the brave; and Erudite, for the Intelligent. Each year, all sixteen-year-olds take an aptitude test that will tell them for which faction they are best suited. After receiving the results of their test, they must decide whether to remain with their family or transfer to a new faction.
Beatrice (or Tris) Prior, played by Shailene Woodley, is faced with this very choice but finds herself to be very different from her peers. She does not fit into any box…but she must choose anyway.
There are so ,many aspects of this story that I could write about. It's certainly a story about choices and how they define us. It's also a story of human depravity, showing our deep need for grace because we are rotten to the core. You can also see a story about standing up to evil, even when it is part of society's institutions.
I've seen posts/articles on all these aspects.
But the thing that may have jumped out to me more than anything else was how it showed our desperate need for community. How we need a group of people, however small, that we can love, trust, and depend upon unconditionally.
Tris never felt like she fit completely in her family - but when she was in trouble she sought out her brother. She struggled to succeed in her faction Dauntless, especially early, but she found a small group of friends that gave her strength to continue. And the most heart wrenching scenes of the movie were those where her community was shattered - whether by death, betrayal, or separation.
Ultimately, that's what we are all looking for. It's why we cling to family, make friends, and sometimes even compromise our convictions to be liked or popular. LIfe works a lot better when we get our identity from the One who made us and then find others who have done so as well. I am blessed to have friends and family like that.
Life is not a solo act. It wasn't for Tris, although at times it felt like it. And it isn't for you and me. My prayer is that you will find people who surround you and love you unconditionally. People who will love you enough to always be there for you, and who also love you enough to tell you when you're wrong.
Our world is becoming so individualistic. I don't want to conform to that trend; I want to be…divergent.