This much talked-about movie — based on the book by by Jon Krakauer — was recently released. The entire premise of the true story is a brutal commentary on our modern culture.
It chronicles the life of young Chris McCandless as he looks for meaning, and ends up disappearing into the Alaskan wilderness.
The book – and presumably the movie – are excellent. But there is a pervasive sadness. McCandless looks for purpose in his life, running from riches, running from society and running from responsibility. He escapes ultimately to nature, hoping that it gives him the answers he looks for.
He cashed in his law school fund and lived off the grid. He hopped trains and hitched car rides across the country. McCandless was conditioned in an increasingly secular world to find achievement and meaning in success, riches, and goodness. But he saw the emptiness. He looked for meaning in simplicity and eventually in nature. Yet, all those things are temporal. They all disappoint. They all fail. He ended his life in an abandoned bus in the Alaskan wilderness near Denali National Park, dying of starvation.
McCandless was looking for answers – yet he missed the most obvious – God Almighty.
The answers were there for the taking.
Romans 1:20 says, “For His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”
And we really are without excuse. Every quaking leaf, every child’s cry, every raindrop screams out the name of God.”
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him,” Romans says. “But they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.”
So the movie is really a film about a fool – a man who tried to fill his void without God, who promises to fill every human life with reason to live with abundance.
May those who see McCandless purposelessness not repeat his folly.