Saturday, March 8, 2014

Lessons From Little House (Part 1?)

Okay, I will not deny that I am a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan.  She is my favorite human author (the Lord being my favorite author, because He gave us the Handbook for life that should be my guide in this life).  

Picture of Laura Ingalls Wilder on display at Ingalls Homestead--De Smet, South Dakota.
Lately, Evan and I have been on a Little House on the Prairie watching marathon.  Now don't get my wrong, I'm not a fan of TV, and I find little to almost nothing of value that is on most of the time.  However,  I find much value in Little House in the Prairie, the television series that Michael Landon produced during the 1970's and 80's.

As I've mentioned before, the TV series is very loosely tied to the books.  In fact, the books are not exact to Laura and her family's life.  There are things left out in the books such as the death of her infant brother, Charles Frederick.  In the TV series, the Ingalls do not move around and homestead as much as in real life.  Most of the TV series takes place in Walnut Grove, Minnesota.  Mary gets married on the series, but never in real life nor in the books.  

Okay, so enough with comparing and contrasting the books and the series!  I guess the point I'm trying to make is that even though the TV series doesn't correlate very much with the books, there is much value in the show.

When I watch each show, there is an important lesson we can all learn.  The glory and power of the Lord is woven throughout each episode, much unlike most any TV series on today.  Yes, I cry when I watch this show, and I am convicted.  Thank you, Jesus!  In bullet point form, here is a short rundown of just a few of the lessons/values taught in some of the episodes.  

Beautiful slough and farmland on the North/South Dakota state lines.  

  • Most important:  Simplify.  They lived so simply back then compared to out western culture.  Because of this, they, I believe, had more time and reflection for the Lord.  They didn't have Facebook or TV or all of this materialistic stuff to keep up with and dust and admire.  They had small homes.  There were literally close to one another, sometimes for days if the weather was bad.  This kept the family close in other ways.  No iPhone or computer or other electronic to capture their mind and soul.  They enjoyed and cultivated relationships with their family intentionally and purposefully.  I'm sure they faced many challenges and life wasn't perfect, but they leaned on the Lord, one another, and their fellow neighbor...which leads to to....

  • Over and over again in several episodes neighbors were there in a pinch to help.  While I do realize this is a TV show and things can seem exaggerated, I have no doubt that people were more "neighborly" back in the good old days.  One of the most beautiful examples of loving your neighbor was when Mary fell ill and needed surgery.  Ma and Pa took a train to Manchester, Minnesota to a hospital for treatment.  Mary's treatment was much more intensive than what was originally thought.  The hospital bookkeeper had no heart and expected payment immediately.  Well, the Ingalls were poor farmers.  They were common folk in the sense that they simply had enough to get by.  When Pa went back to Walnut Grove to sell the farm, he was met with another one had money to buy.  Mr. Edwards leaves his family behind to go with Charles (Pa) to find work to help pay Mar's hospital bills.  I have to wonder today how many people would give until it hurts to help their neighbor today?  While I do understand that the culture and way of life was different 150 years ago, we have no excuse to not love our neighbor as ourself as the Lord commanded.  

To be continued....

Love and Joy only Because He First Loved Me,


No comments: