Finding the Way Back to Mayberry

Episode #116, “The Song Festers”

 IntroductionGomer is given Barney’s solo in the choir’s next performance, and Barney is devastated.  When Gomer finally figures it out, he feigns laryngitis so Barney can take back the part.  Gomer’s white lie is discovered when he accidentally reveals himself just before the group takes the stage. 

Lesson Points:
Life is like a road – Mt. 7:13-14, Isa. 26:7-8, Jer. 31:9, Luke 1:79, Ps. 23:1-4, Proverbs 3:6, 4:11, Acts 2:28
        Ruts and washed-out bridges – Proverbs 4:26, 15:19, and 22:5, Luke 3:4-6
        Detours we mistakenly take – Pr. 15:10 and 24, Pr. 21:16, Jer. 6:16-19, Psalm 27:11 and 119:32
        Paving potholes and rebuilding bridges – Psalm 16:11, 119:105, Proverbs 2:9-15, Luke 3:15-18

Ambition – Mark 10:35-45, 1:16-20, 3:13-19, and 9:2-10, Habakkuk 2:4-20
        Selfish ambition vs. legitimate ambition – James 3:13-18, Php. 2:1-18 and 3:12-14, 2 Co. 5:11-21
        Failed ambition – 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, Psalm 22:1-8, Hebrews 12:12-13
        Achieving ambitions – 2 Timothy 2:1-7, 2 Peter 1:3-11

Discouragement/Disappointment – John 14:1, 21:3-10, Isaiah 51:11, 1 Peter 1:6-9, Psalm 30:5-12, 138:7
        Stubborn pride – Proverbs 16:18-20 and 28:25-26, James 4:6-10, Jeremiah 13:15-17
        Comfort from disappointment/Joy from sadness – Matthew 11:28-30, John 16:20, Jeremiah 31:13
        Hope, confidence and character from running the race at hand – 2 Timothy 4:7-8, Isaiah 35:8-10

1) Name other episodes about Barney’s singing skills, or lack thereof?  How is this one different from those?  When was the other time they mentioned the analogy of a lifetime of traveling many roads?  Barney seemed proud that he “thought” of that comparison.  How did he honestly feel about his disappointments?  How do the following words compare or differ to you: dissatisfaction, disappointment, discouragement, depression, and despair?  Why was everyone involved with the choir?  Why wasn’t Gomer a member already?  How could they recognize Gomer’s talent, but Barney didn’t?  Why did Barney think his replacement would be someone else besides Gomer, and why was he so shocked with the truth?

2) Why wasn’t John Masters more considerate of the effect it would have on Barney? Why was this situation still difficult even for Andy to handle in respect to his friend’s feelings?  Was Eleanora’s pride in Barney legitimate?  How could Barney exaggerate her remarks and believe he was destined for stardom?  Who was the most compassionate in this story?  Why did Gomer fake his sore throat?  Why didn’t he just quit?  Why was Barney slow to take the part back?  How did he react when he saw that Gomer wasn’t really sick?  Barney was extremely hurt when he was passed over.  How could Gomer give up the solo without feeling the same disappointment?  Did Andy join in the “solo” to steal some glory away from Barney and Gomer?  Afterward, why were there no hurt feelings or wounded pride by any of the trio?  Why didn’t the trio, or at least Barney, jump at Miss Poultice’s offer to train them and promote their career?

3) Does this lesson rule out ambition in our work or other parts of our life?  How is our view of Christ, other people and ourselves, different from a worldly point of view?  How does that affect our ambitions and how we work towards them?  How do you respond when your ambitions fail?  How do we tell the difference between God’s plan and our own?  How hurt have you been about your ambitions?  Are there some you need to let go of, or strenuously pursue for God’s glory?  How would you try to help someone who has been hit by disappointment, for example, a neighbor who has been passed over for a promotion at work?  What do you want to win at?  How does the way you pursue this ambition need to change?  God didn’t promise us days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort from the tears, and light for the way.  Why do I have to keep reminding myself of that?

Final Thought:
Barney:  You all don’t seem to understand!  I’m not a plaything that you can just play with and then toss to one side!  I’ve got some pride!