This is the fourth part of a series examining the 12 Steps of Recovery through the lens of nerd culture, all of which will be collected as part of our Mental Health resource.
Step 2 of Recovery | We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Love Thy Nerd had the honor of being the first official review for Angel Studios’ latest theatrical release, The Shift, which is a modern day sci-fi retelling of the story of Job, essentially. Here is what Radio Matt (LTN’s Director of Content & Resources) wrote about the movie as the set up:
“The main story kicks off when Kevin Garner (Kristoffer Polaha) is in a car accident. When he wakes up, he is in an alleyway, patched up and disoriented, with The Benefactor (Neal McDonough) standing over him with an offer. It’s the standard offer of wealth and power. As The Benefactor unfolds his offer, Kevin finds out that his wife Molly (Elizabeth Tabish) has been shifted away.
Now stranded himself in a dystopian reality that is ruled by The Benefactor, Kevin embarks on a near-hopeless journey to find and rescue his wife through different realities.”
As the movie now shifts to digital streaming, I want to dive into more spoilery territory. So, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, I encourage you to watch it first before reading ahead.
Christian movies often follow a similar formula, to their detriment, where everything works out in an unbelievable way (even for miracles) and everything is set perfectly again. This movie doesn’t do that – at least, not in the same way.
In fact, just like in the Biblical story of Job, Kevin truly loses everything, which he doesn’t get back. While he does find his Molly, she is in a different reality, and lived a life with a different – and worse – version of Kevin. She’s moved on without him.
And with that, he truly lost everything. His hope in finding Molly was the only thing he was clinging to, and then even that was taken away. He was a man stripped of everything he had… except for his faith.
Even in his lowest of lows, he held true to His faith. And in the end, God restored him. He brought a new Molly into Kevin’s life, took him to a new reality, let him start over. And while this might seem like a strange ending, maybe even a slightly unsatisfying one given that Kevin doesn’t end up with his Molly, it does track with the story of Job.
The family members who died, the livestock he lost, everything that Job watched vanish didn’t just rewind back into existence when his faith bested the Devil. But God did restore to him what was lost by allowing Job to build back from that point.
In our recovery process, our addictions or coping mechanisms may have cost us a lot. Unlike Job or Kevin, we may have given into temptation for a long time before we realized our need for change.
The good news is, our God is a God of restoration. When we say our Higher Power will “restore us to sanity,” we aren’t saying you’ve gone crazy. Instead, we’re saying that you’ve driven yourself mad trying other ways to fix your life, doing the same things over and over again, each time thinking “this will be the time it sticks” – only to find the same results again and again and again.
Sanity is when you stop trying to do it on your own and instead surrender it all to God. You lay it at His feet and say, “I cannot do this on my own. I am a dead battery. I am a lifeless ragdoll. Please, be my strength and my guide.”
If you continue on this journey, God will use the darkness and sin of your past to build something beautiful. He will turn the shattered pieces of your life into a work of art. And He will restore you, just maybe not in the way you think you want. Instead, He will restore you to the man or woman He made you to be.
It just takes a shift… of perspective.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)