Finding the Way Back to Mayberry

Lesson 20 - A Medal for Opie

Opie dreams of winning the 50-yard dash at the annual "Sheriff’s Boys Day" track meet. Barney volunteers to train Opie for the event. He has the youngster jump rope, jog, and strengthen his leg muscles. Soon, Opie has all the confidence in the world and even promises the good Lord that if he wins the first place medal, he will take it off when he takes a bath once in a while. The big day arrives and Barney is the official starter of the events, while Andy serves as the official scorer. Runners on your mark! Get set…

Lesson Points
Train to Win (Heb. 12:1-3; I Cor. 9:24,25)

            Dedication and hard work

            Believe in yourself

            Never quit

Where is Our Reward? (Phil. 3:12-14)

            The applause of men

            The acceptance of God

            Knowledge that we did our best

Reaction to Failure (Prov. 18:12)

            Self pity

            Resentment toward others

            Courage to try again (I Cor. 16:13)

Learning from Experience (James 1:2-4)

            Losing is a part of life (Romans 5:3-5)

            How we handle setbacks is our choice

            We can become bitter or better

Opie expected to win the race. In fact, it never entered his mind that he might not finish first. While this is a possible attitude, is it realistic? In our own lives today are we prepared for the possibility of finishing last?

Opie literally dreamed of the accolades and glory that accompany victory. When we are successful in life are we more likely to bask in the glory and take the credit ourselves, or are we humble enough to give God the glory?

Opie’s winning spirit changed drastically after the race. Does our attitude change when things don’t work out the way we planned? How can our attitude after a setback be an example to those around us?

In life, do you think God expects us to win every time? Discuss how the challenges we face mold our character and integrity.

Final Thought
"It don’t take courage to be a winner. It does take courage to be a good loser." - Andy