You. are. a. branch.

If you’ve seen the movie Toy Story, you probably remember the scene in which Woody and Buzz Lightyear tumble out of Andy’s car at the Dinoco gas station. Buzz believes he is a space ranger on a secret mission to defeat the evil Emperor Zurg. Woody, on the other, is desperate to get back to his owner, Andy. As Buzz is trying to reach star command, Woody can only stare in jaw-dropping disbelief. In utter exasperation, he finally yells, “You. are. a. Toooyyyy!”, arms flailing behind him.

My thoughts keep coming back to John 15:5, and when I read the words, “You are the branches”, I hear Woody’s voice. “You. are. a. branch!”

See, I’m prone to think I am something I’m not. That in my own power I can “save the world” just like Buzz. Now, truly, I know I cannot save the world, but when I try to take control of things, or try to accomplish things in my own strength, I essentially act as if I can.

As Kristi shares today in her series about Abiding,

But when I do not take the time to bask in His presence, to wait for Him to speak and serve when He calls… I overdo it and become frantic and stressed. My pride swells up and skews my vision. I begin to believe that I am much more important, much more wise, much more irreplaceable than I am. I must be still and listen and live only for the smile of One because apart from Him… I can do nothing. (emphasis mine)

Woody got it. He knew that his purpose was to make his owner happy. Apart from Andy, he was just a lost toy.

Christ makes it very clear. He is the vine. I am just a branch. And in order to produce anything at all, I must remain on the vine. When I act independent of the vine, the only fruit I’ll produce is artificial decoration.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5

In hope,

I have joined Beth Moore and the Siesta Scripture Memory Team for 2011,
and have chosen John 15:5 as my third verse.

Image source, copyright Disney/Pixar

About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.


  1. Teena says

    yes…. thank you. words I needed to here. I smiled as I read your words … I. am. a. branch. thinking of Woody saying it. 🙂

    I love what you quoted:
    I must be still and listen and live only for the smile of One

    My Alyssa and I are memorizing Col. after reading how Ann breaks it down. Alyssa is where she is suppose to be but I am about a week behind. I love doing it with her. Oh my Alyssa is my 13 yr old daughter.

    Oh and Toy Story means lots to us… as my Dakota was 2-3 when the first came out and now he is 17, graduating this spring… all grown up like Andy. 😉

    Shelli, have you ever heard of Bridgewater Candle Company? My friend gave me one for Christmas. You buy a candle and feed an orphan for a week. Plus it comes with a book mark of someone that was brought out of poverty. The candles have a small handprint. I love it.

    Oh I requested a Compassion Sunday packet…. not sure our church will be open to it but if not I will try to find a church and speak there.

    sorry this is so long…. LOVE your post.


    • Hi Teena!

      Good for you and Alyssa for working on Colossians together. It’s amazing how quickly kids can memorize. I should see if my girl would help me.

      I had not heard of Bridgewater Candle Company. I just checked out their site. Very cool! Thanks for telling me about them.

      I’ll be praying that God opens doors for you to share your heart for Compassion children. What a beautiful heart it is!


  2. Steve P says

    Great analogy! I’ll never watch that scene again without thinking of John 15.

  3. I need someone to yell that at me on many days!!! Makes me think I should have some jewelry that looks like branches or something to remind me!! 😉

    • Me too! Maybe we could pass along the idea to @LisaLeonard!