3 STARS – EVANGELISTIC
It is difficult to portray one’s spiritual journey on film. The true story happens deep within our souls as we wrestle with God for control of our lives. But this is a wrestling match that cannot be filmed and leaves us instead to focus on the more superficial struggles that make exciting cinema. Such is the case of this visual testimony of Steve Borden, better known as “Sting.”
Portraying himself in the title role, Steve takes us back to the very beginning of his wrestling career. Beginning as a $25-a-night wrestler, we watch as his success takes him to the pinnacle of professional wrestling where he becomes the 9-time champion. Mastering the painful ballet is only part of his success. Steve marries a beautiful woman, has two children, an expensive home, and an extravagant income. But his success only accentuates the emptiness of his soul.
Focusing primarily on the wrestling events, the film lacks the type of dialogue most often accompanying a person’s internal wrestling with God. We are not given the opportunity to see Steve talk openly with friends, family or pastor about his inner life. Instead, we are only privy to two interviews by inept journalists who not only do not ask perceptive questions but whose admiration also increases his isolation.
Even without this difficult-to-portray aspect of his journey, we can feel Steve’s increasing dissatisfaction with his life. Due to the pressure and painful nature of his work, Steve began to rely more and more heavily on pain medication and alcohol to survive. Finally, his wife confronts him and begins to question his faithfulness. It is this crisis that brings Steve to his physical and spiritual knees.
With emotion that portrays far more that was going on inside, Steve turns to Jesus Christ in a moment that transformed him and changed the direction of his life. Having been exposed to our Lord in a “Promise Keepers” evangelistic event earlier, Steve realizes that he can only find the fulfillment that is lacking through faith in Jesus Christ.
For those of us who have experienced the life-changing power of Jesus we know what Steve experienced and we join him in celebrating his new life. For those who have not known Jesus or the experience of being “born again,” this film is the opportunity to begin such a journey. Like Jacob of old who wrestled with God until he was given the new name of “Israel,” every one of us must eventually meet the One in whose image we are made and put to rest who and Whose we are.
- If a camera were to record your spiritual journey, what would it record? What are the significant moments in your spiritual life?
- Steve’s decision to spend over 300 days each year doing his painful ballet took him far from his wife and children. Have you ever made a similar choice? What did it do to you spiritually? What did it do to your family?
- The “painted face” of “Sting” gave Steve a rather imposing look. Why do you think Steve created this persona: was it just for his career or was he painting something more?
- The final conversion of Steve shows him on his knees crying out to God. Have you had an experience similar to this? If s, how did this experience change you and your life?