The ancient biblical text known as Ecclesiastes addresses the question of why bad things happen and why God allows bad things to happen to good people. Written several millennia ago, filmmaker Lance Smith brings a modern twist to this ancient text in his faith-based feature, A Time for Every Purpose.
Our story follows four individuals on very different journeys and struggles in life. Paul (Eric Diaz) is a veteran suffering from severe PTSD. Due to his addiction, his pain medication has run out. Paul pleads with his pharmacist for more, but his hands are tied legally. Down on his luck, Paul becomes homeless.
Reggie (Zachary S. Williams) is a teen with a past. Several months ago, he killed a young girl while driving. Now, Reggie wanders the streets of his community and the halls of his school, knowing that everyone is judging him for his crime, and it’s not just in his head. Everyone reminds him of what he’s done.
Ruth (Alexia Aldebol) is a single mother to her son, David. She manages to get by in life. That is until her ex-boyfriend, Doug (Will Hagaman), walks through her front door uninvited. Looks like Doug is out of prison and wants to reconnect with his ex-girlfriend and son, whom he never knew he had. He also needs a place to stash his drugs. Now, he is demanding visitation rights for his son. Yet Ruth knows he hasn’t changed.
“…follows four individuals on very different journeys and struggles in life.”
The connective tissue of these three stories is pastor Clark (Wade Hunt Williams), who runs a support group for healing. Paul was a member, but the memories of the war have worn him down, causing him to leave the group. Ruth is the faithful one and helps Clark with this ministry, but the pressure and fear of Doug have made it hard for her to be there fully. Reggie’s mother has Clark to mentor her son, but he wants nothing to do with God at the moment.
A Time for Every Purpose is unabashedly a faith-based movie and follows the simple formula that no matter how bad life gets, God has a way of lifting you up. That’s especially true here. Let’s be honest. It’s really easy for jaded film critics to experience stomach-churning groans and turn off a movie that’s knowingly trying to be positive.
Though the story plays out like a Christian soap opera, A Time for Every Purpose shows true growth in the faith-based movie genre. The stories of Ruth, Paul, Reggie, and Clark are about as grounded as you can get. I certainly know people who share similar experiences with our protagonists. It also leans into the recovery model of success versus the simple “pray it away” angle I’ve seen too many times.
Also, there’s swearing in the film, something Christian films have strayed away from since the dawn of time. In other words, swearing equals authenticity…cuz I know many Christians who do it. Alternately, there are eye-rolling moments, but minimal.
I have nothing but praise for A Time for Every Purpose…and for God while we’re at it. The story is authentic, the solutions align with Christianity as I know it, and the acting is above average. It’s not groundbreaking as a film, but a solid entry into the faith-based film genre.
For screening information, visit the A Time for Every Purpose official website.
"…shows true growth in the faith-based movie genre."