Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

You Are Not Trash!

Written by: on November 20, 2023

Have you seen the Pixar movie Toy Story 4? One of the characters in this movie is Forky. Forky is a spork turned into a toy via a child’s craft project. Forky does not understand his worth and thinks he is just a piece of trash. There is a montage in the movie where another toy, Woody, is constantly going after Forky to keep him from throwing himself away.[1]

In this short clip, the little girl who made Forky keeps looking for him. She has a look of love on her face every time she sees Forky and she is sad when she cannot find him. To her, Forky is not a piece of trash. He is a friend who goes on adventures.

Looking at Jordan B. Peterson’s book, Maps of Meaning, made me think of this scene and the interaction between Forky and Woody. Opening the over 500-page, tiny font book is somewhat intimidating. I must admit, I feel a little bit worthless like Forky feels when attempting to decipher the text. I decided the best way to approach this book would be to start with a Chat GPT summary. Chat GPT describes Peterson’s book as, “a dense exploration of the relationship between belief systems, mythology, and the human experience.”[2]Dense is right. Where do I even begin? The key to this book is the exploration of how we make sense of the world around us. Glancing through the table of contents and the book shows that Peterson draws from a wide range of sources. He references the Bible, the ancient Mesopotamian creation myth, The Hero’s Journey, neuroscience, and psychologists such as Freud and Jung, among many other sources.[3] He is a brilliant man and engaging speaker, as evidenced by his lecture series on the Bible.[4]

Central to the book is the theme of the “hero’s journey.”[5] Peterson writes, “The hero creates order from chaos and reconstructs that order when necessary. His actions simultaneously ensure that novelty remains tolerable and that security remains flexible.”[6] Many stories show this transformation of chaos to order. Even the example of Forky is a creation of order (the toy) from chaos (the random trash used to create Forky). Woody is hero of this story. He is the one to bring the random trash to Bonnie (the child who creates Woody). He later helps Forky to create order in his chaotic mind. Throughout the Toy Story series, Woody is the leader of the toys, the one who brings them together and keeps them on task.

The story of Forky represents the themes of Peterson’s book, which, “encourages readers to grapple with the profound questions of existence and the role of belief in navigating the complexities of life.”[7] Forky goes through this experience, questioning his existence. He eventually settles into his role as Bonnie’s new favorite toy.[8]

I can relate to Forky, to feeling worthless, of being nothing more than trash. I have gone through that existential crisis and have thought the world would be a better place without me. It is in only Jesus that I have found my worth, that I have come to the other side of the chaos. As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:4-5, “Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” The journey through the chaos is not easy, but so worthwhile. May we all remember the words that Woody repeats to Forky, “You are not trash!”[9]

[1] Toy Story 4, directed by Josh Cooley (2019, Pixar).

[2] ChatGPT https://chat.openai.com/c/dd58723d-0216-4f5a-87f2-803f98e6a9f1

[3] Jordan B. Peterson, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. (New York: Routledge, 1999), v.

[4] Jordan B. Peterson, “Lecture: Biblical Series II: Genesis 1: Chaos & Order,” YouTube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdrLQ7DpiWs&list=PL22J3VaeABQD_IZs7y60I3lUrrFTzkpat&index=2 .

[5] ChatGPT https://chat.openai.com/c/dd58723d-0216-4f5a-87f2-803f98e6a9f1

[6] Peterson, 91.

[7] ChatGPT https://chat.openai.com/c/dd58723d-0216-4f5a-87f2-803f98e6a9f1

[8] Toy Story 4, directed by Josh Cooley (2019, Pixar).

[9] Toy Story 4, directed by Josh Cooley (2019, Pixar).

About the Author


Becca Hald

Becca is an ordained Foursquare minister, serving as the Online Community Pastor at Shepherd's House Church. She has over twenty-five years of leadership experience both inside and outside the church. Becca has served her community in many capacities ranging from Administrative Assistant and Children’s Ministry Director to Secretary and President of multiple school organizations. She and her husband, Andrew have been married for over 25 years. They have two adult children, Drew and Evelyn. Her great passion is to equip others, to raise awareness about mental health, and to help reduce the negative stigma surrounding mental health issues. In her free time, she loves going to Disneyland, reading, sewing, and making cards.

6 responses to “You Are Not Trash!”

  1. Becca,

    Great post and story to help your readers navigate. You mapped this out very well. God Bless!

  2. Tonette Kellett says:


    Cute analogy with Forky. I’ve never seen this Toy Story. Does it live up to the previous ones?

  3. mm Chad McSwain says:

    Hey Becca,
    This is an intimidating book! I think it requires some working knowledge of philosophy and psychology. I’m glad we were prepared with The Hero’s Journey!
    Great job using different tools to decipher the book. I also when to Chat GPT to crack it open a bit. Well done seeing the connections to movies. I really appreciated that!

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