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  • Heather Thomas Van Deren

The Buddy System

Updated: Feb 21


I've used the buddy system all my life. I bet you have too, even if you didn't realize it....

In grade school I remember holding hands with my buddy (or buddies) when crossing the road to the playground. We always had to cross at the crosswalk - nowhere else - or we would get sent to the principal's office for disobeying the rules. Our punishment was not being allowed to go to the playground for the rest of the week; instead we had to stay in the classroom with Mrs. Sharp (whom I did not like) & do math problems on the chalk board.

As I moved into Jr. & Sr. High, my "buddies" became my study partners. My grades weren't too good, & my "study-buddies" weren't that great at their subjects, either. When you put "Trouble #1" & "Trouble #2" together, what do you get? Yeah, you guessed it: Double Trouble! Seems my buddy system wasn't working so well for me anymore. Could it have been the buddies I was choosing? Hmmm...

It went downhill from there. I became the model "troubled teen", doing things that troubled teens do: toilet-papering houses, sneaking my parents' car out at night, smoking, getting drunk at parties, etc. And of course, I wasn't alone, for I was working with the buddy system! As I progressed through high school (by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin), my buddy system became more "advanced" & moved into things like buying and selling drugs together - anything we weren't supposed to do. Having a buddy (or "partner in crime") to do those things with gave me more courage than I would normally have had. My buddies never tried to talk me OUT of doing things. But boy, they could alway be counted on to talk me INTO plenty of things! I even talked others into doing those things with my buddies and me.

During this time I knew in my heart what I was doing was wrong. Something just kept nagging at me. Then a bad-buddy-turned-good talked me into doing something right for a change. I checked myself into a drug rehab. It was there I found the best buddy I've ever had. I still have that buddy today, & we are closer than ever. His name is Jesus Christ.

My best buddy has been through alot more than I ever have. (Matthew 27) He's been ridiculed even when He didn't deserve it; beaten until the flesh of His body was hanging in raw bloody strips; spit upon & humiliated; stripped naked & mocked in front of hundreds of people... and as huge railroad-sized spikes were driven into His hands and feet, the sins of the whole world were placed on His shoulders to bear. Even mine. You see, I deserved everything that my buddy went through, but He wouldn't let it happen to me. He loved me that much! He even took His last breath thinking of me.

What a buddy, huh? The kind of buddy we all need. Jesus can be your buddy, too, because He's still alive! (Read Matthew 28) Just believe in Him (John 3:16) & then get on board with the best buddy system ever established! You won't regret it!


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