Lesson From Lassie


Was watching an episode of Lassie earlier today, a classic show about a boy named Timmy, his parents, their farm and their beautiful, courageous dog named Lassie. See, usually in every episode, it seems that Lassie comes to the rescue either by protecting, leading, helping in some way or warning of danger. Who doesn’t want a loyal, faithful friend and companion like Lassie hanging around?

In this episode, a neighbor decides he will start raising minks on his farm. Lots of minks. This alarms Timmy’s Dad and another neighbor, who are concerned for the safety of their own livestock.

Around the same time chickens on Timmy’s farm are killed. So naturally Timmy’s father and another neighbor blame the minks. Although there’s no sign they escaped the owner’s farm. It happens again with no sign of the predator. Timmy’s father follows Lassie’s lead as she follows the scent. The trace takes them to the edge of water where there’s an animal footprint in the mud, a footprint Timmy’s Dad is unable to identify. The trail stops at the water so Lassie and the Dad return without finding the culprit.

Little Timmy, who appears about nine years old, with his innocent sweet demeanor and cute dimpled face, decides he’ll help solve the problem by catching this loose mink. Although there’s still no solid proof it is a mink. Of course he takes Lassie along and before heading out, casually mentions the idea to his Dad.

But as Timmy and Lassie venture out alone into the woods to catch this mink, something’s wrong. What the viewer sees that Timmy doesn’t is that this is no mink. It’s another member of the weasel family. There’s a dangerous wolverine prowling around.

When I was little, my Dad (who is a hunter, fisherman and outdoor adventurer who’s hunted grizzly bears in Alaska, kayaked by glaciers and hiked the wilderness) warned me of wolverines. Not sure how the subject came up. Maybe it was one of those wildlife educational shows or one of the western movies I used to watch with my Dad when I was a kid. But my Dad instilled the knowledge in me that wolverines are very dangerous animals to be left alone.

Back in Lassie’s world, Timmy is unknowingly set out to find one. Although he thinks he’s searching for a mink. But Lassie knows differently, so she tries to warn Timmy. She keeps stopping and grabbing Timmy’s hand to stop him from heading straight for a wolverine. But Timmy won’t listen. He tells Lassie to stop it, because he thinks he knows what he’ll find. Even though he should know from experience to listen to Lassie. She’s always right and just knows things that Timmy doesn’t. She continues to lovingly warn Timmy not to proceed. To stop. That something’s wrong. But Timmy still won’t listen and walks straight toward the path of a dangerous, ferocious wolverine.

Couldn’t help but see a parallel here. How often the Holy Spirit speaks to people to warn them in order to protect them, to not go a direction. But often people don’t listen. They’ll be fine, at least that’s what they believe. They can handle it. They think they know the risks and chances they’re taking, unaware of the great danger ahead.

So just as Timmy needed to listen to Lassie, his faithful, loving friend who loves him with all her heart and would do anything to protect him, so we should listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who is our greatest companion and friend. Who loves us so much. Who looks out for our good. He sees the danger that lies ahead on certain paths of which we may be unaware and warns us.

God’s Word gives light to see where we should walk. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path,” (Psalm 119:105).

Once I was with a group of friends who decided to go on a night hike on a trail through some woods in Colorado. Didn’t sound like the best idea to me (for many reasons) but the group was going so I went. It was dark. The path was somewhat rocky, uneven and one I had never been on before. Flashlights were brought along, but not as many as were needed for a group that size. So to avoid running into rocks, spraining an ankle, tripping or something worse, I wanted to hold a flashlight or be close enough to someone holding a flashlight to shine light on the path to see where to walk.

So when you’re choosing a path or heading a certain direction, stop and see if it lines up with scripture. Shine the light of God’s Word on it. If it doesn’t agree with the Bible, whether it be a wrong relationship, compromising work opportunity or any kind of unwise choice, don’t think you know better than God. You may think you’ve heard of all the possible risks, reasons why you shouldn’t and the necessary facts but want to try it anyway and hope everything goes okay. But you don’t know everything. There are dangers and risks you may not be aware of that God sees. He knows the possible consequences of actions and the ramifications it may have on your life and the lives of others. So listen to His warning, because He loves you and is looking out for your best interests. He’s not trying to keep good things from you. He wants to bless you.

God gives guidelines in His Word to help us, protect us and show us the right paths to choose. He wants what’s best for us. The Holy Spirit reminds us of God’s Word and speaks to us. And we can trust Him.

Eve was deceived by the serpent in the Garden of Eden, even though God gave very specific guidelines to warn and protect her and Adam:

And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die,’” Genesis 2:16-17).

How hard is it not to eat from just one tree in the garden when you can eat from every other tree, including the tree of life?

Some of God’s guidelines are so simple and so obvious and clear, how can anyone misunderstand them? But what happened in the Garden of Eden still happens with people today. They are deceived into believing that what God is warning them about will actually be good for them and bring the results they want.

“When people are in deception, they don’t know it.” A powerful statement by a wise women. That’s why we need to line up our actions with the Word of God and pray for the Holy Spirit to show us the truth.

Recently heard a good quote that said, “You can choose your actions, but you can’t choose the consequences for your actions.” God knows what choices will bring good results. Choices that result in blessing.

So listen. It’s worth it and may just save your life and the life of others. You can trust Him.

So what happened with Timmy? Lassie intervenes, risking her life for Timmy so he won’t be torn to pieces. When his Dad realizes it’s a wolverine and remembers Timmy talking about catching this “mink,” he and some men set out to find him. Hearing Lassie barking, the men show up just in time to stop the wolverine and save both the lives of Timmy and Lassie.



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