(Photo by Selma Komisky)
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You’ve Got A Friend in Me!
By Mike Komisky
This song comes from one of my favorite Disney/ Pixar movie “Toy Story.” There are so many wonderful characters that really make this film so delightful. For instance, Sheriff Woody the cowboy was a pull string toy and would say all these clever sayings. He also is known as Andy’s favorite toy. And there was Buzz Lightyear the Space Ranger. Rex the dinosaur, Mr. & Mrs. Potato head, and Slinky the Winnie dog to name a few.
This movie is family friendly and as I thought about it, the story has a lot of good spiritual themes about teamwork, acceptance, loyalty, and true identity.
Even though each toy has their own uniqueness and talents, they work to pull together to help one another. However, each toy struggles with the following questions.
- What is my purpose in life (or their place in Andy’s bedroom)?
- Where do I belong?
- Do I really matter?
- Will I be accepted by others?
Whether you are a Christian or not, we all have had to ask ourselves these same questions. Every human being is searching for meaning in their lives.
This movie tackles these issues. Let’s get started.
In spite of being put in many dangerous situations; no toy was an island. They all needed each other to accomplish their circumstances good or bad. The Bible speaks about this in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. In the New International Reader’s Version (NIRV), it says, “There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ…So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts….”
So use whatever gift you may have to glorify God. Whether you like to fix cars, help people, or cook. Or, maybe your techy, or your good at singing – you can use it for Gods kingdom.
When Woody first met Buzz, there was a bit of competition between the two over who was really Andy’s favorite. And created some feelings of jealousy within Woody. Eventually he excepts Buzz for who he was. Later Buzz was the peanut butter to Woody’s jelly. They were inseparable. This lesson teaches us to love and except others into the body of Christ. Regardless of differences, hurts, hang-ups, or habits. Jesus died for us all to reconcile us and redeem us.
Even though the toys would disagree at times. They remained loyal to one another. They believed in each other. This reminded me of a story in the Bible in 1 Samuel 18 about Jonathan and David. They truly were like brothers and cared about one another. Protected and looked out for each other’s welfare. That’s how Christ wants us to be more “others” focused instead of self-focused. Loyal people are encouragers as well. They route on and lift up their friends and family.
Buzz really struggled with who he really was. He really believed he was the only Space Ranger super hero who could shoot lasers and fly and talk to the Star Command. But Buzz was in denial until he attempted to fly and failed. As Woody ranted “Snap out of it, you are just an action figure toy!” Additionally, In “Toy Story 2,” Woody discovers that he comes from a toy collection in the 1950s-era TV show entitled “Woody’s Roundup.” And finds his friends Bullseye his toy horse and Jesse the cowgirl.
So even though they lost their sense of purpose for awhile, they realized they belonged to a greater mission. They were Andy’s Toys. Andy wrote his name with permanent black marker on the bottom of their feet. A declaration that they belonged to Andy and no one else. And Andy enjoyed, valued, and loved playing with each individual toy and made them feel special. This brought them extreme joy and satisfaction. So, in closing we as believers in God belong to the ownership of Jesus Christ.
In the Bible in the book of Ephesians 1:13 (Contemporary English Version) Christ also brought you the truth, which is the good news about how you can be saved. You put your faith in Christ and were given the promised Holy Spirit to show you belong to God.
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”
– Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Oneness and Peace in Christ.”
– Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
This is our true identity if you choose to believe in Christ. You won’t have to wonder who you are or whose you are. You are loved, and God gives you a purpose. And one day like Buzz says, we’ll all go to infinity and beyond!