“I chased a polecat up a tree, way out upon a limb. And when he got the best of me, I got the worst of him!” No, this isn’t scripture- it’s Disney. Uninspired by the Spirit though they be; the wording is a warning in many ways.
First, make sure you are sure of what you pursue. The lyric gives a laugh to the listener, because “who would chase a polecat?” I wonder if God thinks we are just as silly for spending so much time on futile endeavors. How many songs are written about the “little dash there in between” the dates on tombstones? How many Halmark movies share that narrative as well? Even scripture shares in this sentiment- “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? “(Matthew 16.26a)
For the second point, I hear my mother’s words ringing clearly, “you’re like a dog chasing a car; you wouldn’t know what to do with it once you caught it.”. Say you got to the end of that limb and snatched up that stinky skunk. What now? What would happen if all your bills were paid, your education completed, your family healthy and happy, your 401k fully funded? What would you do then? We can spend our whole lives chasing something that is not only pointless- it takes us away from the things that matter. At the end we will see how many opportunities we had to seek the kingdom of God but were preoccupied with our own concerns. James tells us “[we] ask and do not receive, because [we] ask wrongly, to spend it on [our] passions” (James 4.3).
Since the movie featured only two verses of this song many have not heard the fourth verse which reads, “We used to have a billy-goat, and had him disinfected. He could have slept in Grumpy’s bed, but the billy-goat objected”. So many directions to take this verse…haha. We do not belong here. We are pilgrims in search of our eternal home. Cleaned by the blood of our God, we are more than conquerors- but this world is not our home. Like the billy-goat, I do not want to make my bed with this ol’ world.
I belong in Heaven because I have been “disinfected”. This word seems wildly out of place for what I think of when shampooing a goat. But it seems so appropriate for our condition. The mentality of this world is infectious. And we must be ever vigilant to keep our mind on the Spirit.