Finding the Way Back to Mayberry

Episode # 81, "The Loaded Goat"

A farmer’s goat wanders into a storage shed and eats some dynamite.  Andy and Barney are faced with the problem of this “explosive situation.”

Lesson Points:
Some people handle explosive situations with only their emotions – Cy “Hudge” Hudgins – Ne. 1:1-11
     Being sentimental rather than thinking it through or facing consequences – 1 John. 4:11, Pr. 3:13
     Losing their temper or “having a short fuse”– James 1:19-21, Proverbs 15:18, 16:32, and 19:11
     Conveniently handing responsibility to others – Romans 3:19-20, Proverbs 19:15-16, Deut. 24:16

Some people don’t realize the consequences of their part in the problem – Mayor Stoner - 2 Kings 5:20-27
     Not admitting or accepting their “big responsibility” – Titus 1:5-9, Romans 14:12, Hebrews 13:17
     Having “big ideas” that blow up in everyone’s faces – Jonah 1:1-17, Proverbs 28:12
     Making “big shot” speeches – Galatians 5:26, 1 Timothy 6:3-5, Colossians 3:17

Some people are helpful but don’t see their part in the problem – Mr. Burton (and Barney, at first)
     Giving advice and assistance when needed – Isaiah 41:6, Psalm 86:17, Hebrews 13:6-8, Pr. 12:15
     But sometimes forgetting the importance/impact of their own actions – Hebrews 4:13
     And sometimes forgetting to learn from their mistakes – Proverbs 20:11, 1 Peter 5:1-4, James 5:16

Some people ignore the problem altogether until it is too late – Otis – 2 Chronicles 16:7-10
     Shooing away their “explosive goat” – 1 Corinthians 7:24 and 10:31-33, 1 Peter 5:5-11
     Hiding “under the straw” when trouble comes – Obadiah 1:15, Galatians 6:7-10, Philippians 4:4-9

Some people handle the problems, even when they don’t cause them –Andy and Barney (and why not us?)          
     Accept responsibility even when it is unpleasant or not your fault – 1 John 2:3-6, Isaiah 40:10-31
        Put others’ well-being ahead of your own – James 3:13, Proverbs 21:1-3, 1 Corinthians 4:1-5
     Make good decisions (and “Don’t let them get your goat!”) – Proverbs 1:1-7 & 23:23, Isaiah 33:22

1) Hudge treated Jimmy like family until he made a mistake.  How could he have acted more responsibly with Jimmy?  Do we turn our backs on friends and family when they need us the most?  Would Mayor Stoner have pushed the bypass through, if everyone knew the truth about helping his brother?  Do we ever take advantage of others to help someone else?  Do you ever make your actions seem greater than they are? 

2) Mr. Burton was a very nice guy but seemed to ignore the fact that his careless storage of the dynamite contributed to the problem.  Otis is very lovable, but threw a tantrum when he didn’t get his way.  Then, he tried to hide from the problem.  Why didn’t Burton make certain the dynamite was safe before starting the blasting again?  How did Otis explain how Jimmy got mad?  Do we ever handle our troubles like Burton or Otis?  Are we satisfied to let someone else worry about it?  How do you behave when you are to blame?

3) Andy and Barney were scared, but handled the problem the best way they knew how.  At first, how did Barney react to Jimmy’s presence?  Why did he later “blast into action”?  Why didn’t Hudge and the mayor help Andy and Barney?  Do we jump in to help, even in the face of danger or opposition, and put others ahead of us?  In what areas of your life, do you sense the greatest need for accountability?

4) Read in Leviticus 16 about the Day of Atonement.  The original meaning of scapegoat was “escape goat,” the goat that was allowed to “escape” with its life.  The accepted modern meaning is “someone who is punished for the wrongs of others.”  What or who was the scapegoat in this episode?  Read Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 about servant leadership.  If we believe Isa. 53:4, what keeps us from serving as Christ served us?

Final Thought: 
Barney:  That’s right.  Nothin’ to worry about.  No sense gettin’ in a panic.  Just stay calm, and cool … (explosion in the distance) THERE HE GOES!!!!