Toy Story Theology

When my children were, in the words of the Beatles ‘so much younger than today,’ one of their favorite films was Toy Story.

It really caught the imagination to the extent that whenever they took a risk or did something exciting, such as the water slide at the local swimming pool, they would yell at the top of their voices (and yes I did occasionally feel embarrassed):

‘To infinity and beyond,’ the famous words of Buzz Light Year.

Isn’t it amazing that for a child, such is their openness, the world really is full of infinite possibilities. Maybe this is what Jesus really meant when he asked us to come to Him as a child? Be open, let ordinary experiences be transformed into something far more interesting, bring your imagination, be playful, don’t let your experiences be limited solely to that which can be comprehended through cognitive skills. Perhaps,be wise?

Surely to live out our lives of faith in a way that invites the God of all possibilities to shape our lives is a life worth living? Whats’s the alternative? The singer-songwriter Passenger hits the nail on the head when he writes that, ‘you build your heart of plastic become cynical and sarcastic and end up in the corner on your own.’

Today’s New Testament reading from Celtic Daily prayer, Acts 12, 7-12, has a touch of the Buzz Light Year’s about it. The imprisoned Peter, chained and heavily guarded, is suddenly visited and released by an Angel of the Lord. The impact on Peter was so stunning (it would be, wouldn’t it!?) that he thinks that he he is having a dream, or a vision. But no what he is in the midst of is reality, a world of infinite possibilities, possibilities beyond his ken.

Interestingly Peter understands the reality of his experience through his physical senses (Christian spirituality is holistic with mind-body-soul working animating each other)  after he had ‘walked the whole length of a street,’ and after the angel had left him. It was the experience of absence that verified the experience, importance of, presence!

So this our challenge:

‘Are we with Peter and Buzz Light Year open to the possibility of going to infinity and beyond?’


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