I was never much of a fan of animated movies until my wife and I took our children to see Pixar/Disney’s Toy Story. Part of the film’s attraction was its touching chords from yesteryear of favorite toys and imaginative playtimes, but part of it was how the writers found ways to appeal to our quintessential hopes and dreams.
I remember being especially drawn to the Buzz Lightyear character. A heroic figure among the collection of toys, Buzz was famous for fighting against all odds to keep the toy family together. Who can forget his famous cry: “To Infinity…and Beyond?” Buzz was the one toy who perceived possibilities where the others only saw dead ends.
We’ve been trying hard to create the same sort of “buzz” (pun intended) this month in our “All Things Are Possible” Capital Campaign. My greatest fear is that with only a one-month “public phase,” there will be some who never get the message that we’re undertaking something that will position our church to claim God’s future and make ministry more possible. That’s why we’ve dedicated each service in November to promoting the campaign. Given the fact that folk no longer attend worship as regularly as in years past, our hope is that most of our membership will be present for at least one service, where they will hear the campaign’s challenge and be encouraged to ponder their participation. Moreover, the campaign prayer guide and video promotion are intended to give the emphasis a reach far beyond our Sunday worship.
While there are surely many reasons why we might think that this effort is beyond our church’s capacity, the sole consideration that gives me confidence is God’s tendency to open hearts wider than we can comprehend, as He calls us to something that only He could make possible. We might even say that the One who holds Infinity in His heart is able to move us beyond what we can see at this present time so that we point toward the future He has for us with courage and conviction.
Many of you have already responded to the invitation to go in that direction. Thank you for your support, and join me in praying if you might do even more. Others of you are still praying about what you can do. Keep on seeking God in this matter.
My favorite “Buzz Lightyear” line is actually from Toy Story 2. While in the first Toy Story, it’s the Woody character who saves Buzz; in the second film the plot is reversed and it’s Buzz who saves Woody. The toy characters find themselves in an anxious spot and it’s Buzz who inspires them to act. “Woody once risked his life to save me,” he tells the others. “I couldn’t call myself his friend if I weren’t willing to do the same. So, who’s with me?”
Going above and “beyond” the call of duty is what all loyal followers should always be ready to do, especially when we consider the One who did the same for us. That’s what I’m certainly willing to do. So, I ask you: “Who’s with me?”
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).