Natalie Ogbourne

My oldest childrenwere six and three when Jonah—A Veggie Tales Movie came out. When we went to see it, they hopped down the street toward the theater with glee. All their favorites were on the big screen: Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, Junior Asparagus, and Archibald the, well, we never did decide what Archibald was, but he played Jonah.

The movie featured a new character, a decidedly non-vegetable named Khalil, a little guy who struggled to find his own road and turned to motivational tapes to help him find it–tapes which featured a soothing voice that told him useful bits of insight such as, “You are a skilled metal worker.”

“I am a skilled metal worker?” said an amazed Khalil. “I did not know that!”

The Veggie Tales creators know their audience. The kids loved it. They thought it was hilarious. They repeated it for months.

One morning after going through a Khalil-and-the-motivational-tape routine, my son stopped suddenly and said, “It’s funny that Khalil has to listen to those ear muffs to know who he is.”

Even as I exchanged one of those he’s-so-funny looks with my husband and laughed with our kids, I knew my son had given me something to think about: How do I know who I am?

It’s a question I have to revisit occasionally, often because I’ve fallen apart a little—evidence that I’m listening to the generic and useless and dated information.

As we step out on our road this month, may each of us know who we are based on today’s truth rather than yesterday’s worn out distortion. May we disregard the voices that know just enough to be dangerous and heed the One Voice that knows us. And through the trials that come our way, may we seek to know Him.

Sharing stories with the writers at Unforced Rhythms.