Toy Story came out in 1995 and completely revolutionized my view of movies. As a kid, that was the first time I had seen a movie with such meaningful depth that still kept me laughing. My parents bought the VHS for my two brothers and I and we wore that tape out. To this very day, I can still feel the chills from the scene where Buzz Lightyear sadly realizes that he is only a toy. I still cringe at the sight of Sid, who is quite analogous of a young Adolf Hitler. However, at the end of the movie… youthful joy wins. We can ALL admit that after watching that movie we believed our toys could secretly talk. Honestly, a small part of me still believes to this day. Weird.
Cutting back to the story – To the beloved surprise of my brothers and I, in November of 1999 Toy Story 2 was set to come out in theaters. Needless to say, we were beyond ecstatic. At that age we had no idea that there were possibilities of “movie sequels.” The only certainties we knew were that Kel loved orange soda and that Are You Afraid of the Dark was based on true stories. Therefore, with our apparent limited scope, we knew nothing of Toy Story 2 until the day before it came out. My brothers and I ran to our father and told him this once-in-a-lifetime news. Surely he’d be as excited as us. I remember it as if it were yesterday. Our dad was sitting on the old blue sofa reading the newspaper. We jumped onto his lap and interrupted everything to ask if he could take us to the movie theater to see Toy Story 2 the next day. He paused for about 3 seconds……and said yes. A yes!! We asked again to make sure we heard correctly. And again, yes! We freaked out, haha. Freaked out is an understatement. We then went into another room and watched Toy Story 1 for preparation work.
The next morning we were still rampantly on fire, being extra “good boys” that day. As the evening drew near, we approached our newspaper-reading papa again. We asked him what time we’re leaving…our eyes gleaming of excitement…but what happened next I have never forgotten to this day. He looked at us with the confused look and told us no. Stunned and taken back for a few seconds, we pleadingly asked him again, but his facial expression this time made it very clear that we were not going. To our utter dismay, our father had completely changed his mind. The hurtful feeling in that instant was piercing. It is a funny thing, ya know, how we can remember the most random occurrences from our childhood. For some reason they stick with us. For some reason, I never quite shook that residue one off.
To make one thing clear, my dad was and still is a great father. He has happily done numerous things for us and I love him. However, that particular clip in my life has stuck with me and I can see glimpses of how it has affected my walk with Christ. Many times I will come to God with the feeling of, “Oh, he doesn’t want to be bothered with me. He doesn’t care that much.” It has negatively affected my intimate walk with Christ and at times tremendously hindered my prayer life.
We need to understand that Satan is extremely crafty and sneaky. His craftiness is beyond human ability. Back in 1999, what Satan did in that instant was grab hold of a short clip of my life and he turned it into a fundamental negative way of thought of how I view a father. Something as quick and innocent as my father changing his mind, Satan has used to skew my view of the nature and character of the loving, triune God. Scripture claims that God wants for us to pray to him unceasingly (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 4:2). Therefore, somewhere within His numinous character and nature, He has a will for wanting prayer that it runs contrary to how my earthly dad reacted to us that very day. This is why Satan would find it opportune to make sure that I always remember what my father did. Touche Satan, touché.
This is not the first time in history that this has ever happened. We all seem to still remember the simplest things from our childhood. Things that still affect us to this day – both positive and negative. If we focus, we can trace many of our insecurities and weaknesses today back to a single experience or something said to us in the past. For instance, if I were one of Satan’s demons, it would be ineffective for me to outright tell a girl that she should have image issues and not trust God. But it would be effective to have her stumble upon a revealing Cover Girl commercial at an early age. Then the next day when a boy jokingly picks on her class I would have all her classmates laugh at her… longer than usual. That way, she’ll subconsciously remember that piercing feeling. Not exactly what the boy said…but just how it felt. She will never want to feel that way ever again. The rest is history. Eventually, when she is older she wouldn’t want anything to do with God because, come on, what man would want a girl like her. Do you see all the subtle lies there? That voice would whisper in her ears for years. That is what Satan and the powers of darkness would whisper to her for many years to come.
Luckily we have Truth that combats those lies. Truth that tells me that I have a heavenly Father that wants me to come to him and talk about “Toy Story 2”. We all have a Father who cares. Hebrews 4:13 describes Him as a Father that knows us. Nothing is hidden from Him. He knew that I would like Toy Story 2 before I was born. Because he wired me for it. Isaiah 62:6-7 claims that God is so serious about wanting us to bother him in prayer that he has appointed people to do exactly that. To pester him and keep knocking on his door. He says to GIVE HIM NO REST. This is foreign to me because not only is He saying that I can ask him about Toy Story…but that he also delights in my asking. #MindBlown
We must be watchful of Satan’s schemes. It would be wise to notice what memories that he grabs hold on to in our lives. How blessed are we that we have a Father who thoroughly knows each of us and offers freedom. Who cares about You. His glory and majesty outweighs all things. May we not neglect such a great salvation that is offered to us.
Other verses used: Luke 11:9-12, James 4:2, Hebrews 2:1-4, Romans 12:12