Toy Story: Falling With Style

Posted: January 3, 2012 by jperritt in Comedy, Family
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Pixar continues to crank out quality films, but they started it all with Toy Story. In my opinion, this is one of the best film trilogies and the first one is actually on American Film Institute’s top 100 movies of all time. The creativity of the writing and animation have made this film a timeless classic.

I have watched this film too many times to count, but I was watching it recently and a familiar seen caused me to reflect on the Christian life. Andy has just received Buzz Lightyear at his birthday party and all of his older toys are meeting him for the first time. Woody is jealous and begins to argue with Buzz over whether or not he can truly fly. This prompts Buzz to prove it by climbing on a bedpost and jumping off. He obviously can’t fly, because he is just a toy, but he bounces off various things in the room giving the appearance of flying. After ‘flying’ he then lands on the bed to the applause of all the toys. Woody, in his jealous frustration says, “That wasn’t flying! That was…falling with style!”

This got me reflecting on fallen human beings and the fact that all we can really do is fall with style. Romans 3:23 reminds us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We fell in the garden with Adam and Eve,so sin has spread to us all. We are born sinful (Psalm 51) and therefore our best deeds are filthy rags. However, we know that we can be used by the Lord, we can be instruments in the Redeemers hands. But, we still really just fall with style.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when we work alongside the Holy Spirit. These are referred to as synergistic works of the Holy Spirit. We think of the verse in Philippians 2:12, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” most people tend to stop there, but then comes verse 13, “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” These verses affirm that we are to work, but it is God working in you. Paul, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is being intentionally vague. We know it is ultimately the Holy Spirit doing the work, but we are to work alongside him.

Going back to Toy Story, it was Buzz that climbed the bed post and Buzz that jumped off, but everything else was done by some outside ‘force’. In the Christian life we would say, even the climbing and the jumping was done by the Holy Spirit’s initiative, but we still worked with him. The rest of the falling had style attached to it, only because of God’s grace.

Because we are sinful, we are prone to worship man. We give ourselves too much credit sometimes and we can forget how bad we really are. We forget that the Bible is about a bunch of losers. Even though it is about a bunch of fallen, sinful, unfaithful people, God uses that bunch. He used Noah, who got drunk and naked later, he used David, who committed adultery and murder, he used his disciples who betrayed him during his time of need. The Bible is about a bunch of losers and One Hero.

God does work alongside us in synergistic works. He can and does use Christians to carry out his work on earth, so be ready and willing to prayerfully serve him. And realize that there is no good we can do apart from the Spirit enabling us, so we must call on him to ultimately do those works which are falling with style. We must also be reminded that the best work was done apart from us, that is, our redemption.

Our salvation was accomplished by Jesus Christ alone and our faith comes from a monergistic work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit opened our eyes to our sin and moved us to embrace the cross, apart from any of our works. Our salvation was solely a work of God, and it is this work which moves us to infinity and beyond.

  1. Henderson says:

    Hi, I really like this website and this post about toy story.
    when I watch movies, sometimes, I start to think and comparing with the bible.
    I have never thought that there was a website with this kind of content.

    have you ever seen “Taken”? this movie make me think about the wrath of God.

    God bless you,

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