You Aren’t Trash

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One of the new characters in the latest Toy Story movie is Forky. (Don’t worry, I promise not to ruin the ending!) Forky is a toy made by a little girl, Bonnie, at her first day of kindergarten. She is nervous and doesn’t know what to do in the busy and loud classroom, but she finds a little peace at the arts-and-crafts table, where she turns a discarded plastic spork into a friend. She creates arms and hands from a red pipe cleaner and feet from pieces of a tongue depresser. Bonnie instantly loves Forky, who provides her comfort during her big day of transition.

Bonnie takes Forky home, where he meets her other toys. But Forky doesn’t think he is a toy—he believes he is a piece of trash. At every opportunity, Forky breaks away from the other toys to hurl himself into the nearest trash can, because he relishes the comfort and familiarity of the trash around him; it feels like where he belongs.

Meanwhile, Woody, the hero cowboy toy, keeps dragging Forky out of the trash and back to Bonnie. Woody is called to bring delight to children as only a toy can. Woody knows that Bonnie relies on Forky to get the confidence she needs to brave kindergarten, so he is committed to making sure that Forky is by her side.

Forky keeps running away, but Woody persistently chases him. Through all of their adventures, Woody helps Forky realize that he is so much more than a disposable utensil. Woody shares with Forky the vision of what it means to bring delight to a child. He shows Forky that he may be made from trash, but he has become a toy through Bonnie’s love. Trash would be a case of mistaken identity.

Is there someone in your life right now who sees you as more than the sum of your parts? Who sees you for the person you were created to be and the joy your life brings to those around you? Who wants you to see yourself as the special person that others see you to be?

Sometimes we need to listen to others who are naming important truths about us even if we want to go hide in what is familiar and known. We need to pay attention to the Woodys in our lives who have experienced something beautiful and joy-filled and have a vision for us to catch that is beyond our own experience. The path of discipleship often involves allowing another person to guide and even drag us to a place that may not feel right at first, even if we walk by faith that it’s better because Christ goes before us.

Other times we need to come alongside someone who cannot see for themselves the beauty and purpose for which they were made. Woody could clearly see the value Forky brought to Bonnie and was compelled to be at Forky’s side until he could see it too. In the path of discipleship, sometimes we are called to walk alongside another and speak words of truth and compassion until a vision for something greater awakens in their own heart.

Younique is a journey designed to help you discover and name your special calling. Whether your life is more like Forky’s or Woody’s, the Younique toolbox provides compelling, easy-to-learn tools to discover God’s special assignment—both for you and for everyone around you who can’t yet see beyond the trash.

About The Author

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Kelly Kannwischer
Kelly has spent her vocational life as a not-for-profit executive, consultant and development professional. Former to becoming the CEO of Younique, Kelly founded OptUp Consulting, served THINK Together as the Chief Engagement Officer, and led Vanguard University as a Vice President and President of the Vanguard University Foundation. Kelly graduated from the University of Virginia and earned her Masters degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. She is married to Rev. Dr. Richard Kannwischer and is the proud mother of Danica (age 15) and Ashby (age 13).