It’s pretty common for teachers to have kids partner up either on a field trip, a special school project or at the beginning of the school year for a few weeks. In the latter case the purpose is to help the kids in their adjustment to a whole new routine and environment. The goal is to give them a friend instead of leaving them to face the unknown all on their own. Because, as teachers understand, having a buddy can be a great advantage to overcoming what would otherwise be, very difficult obstacles. There’s just something about knowing you are not going through challenges alone that helps one’s confidence in facing those challenges.
I think God knows the same thing.
As an only child I grew up being pretty comfortable being a loner. Maybe because of that “only child” status, I am very independent… sometimes to a fault. Often I forget to ask for help from my peers because I usually go to a spiritual mentor, or am simply always focusing on my peer’s needs over my own. As a result I can mentally and emotionally magnify my own set of challenging circumstances above Christ and feel very much alone in facing those challenges.
On New Years Day I carried on a 3-hour conversation with an old friend. I know I know, what can you possibly talk about for 3 hours? In a word…EVERYTHING. And in that conversation I learned that someone else is facing the exact same challenges I am facing in this stage of life. Difficult family structures, unmet desires, and unrealistic expectations to name a few. Although my heart was sad for her that she was experiencing those difficulties, I was strengthened by the simple fact that “I am not alone!” There are other people going through the exact same thing I am! And they know how I feel! Not only that, but they are in my community! I was motivated to help my friend in anyway possible to face her challenges and overcome them. My brain started buzzing with plans and ways to execute those plans so that we could thwart those negative emotions that kept trying to bring us under. It was no longer about just “me” but about “us”.
Currently I am assisting my Pastor/Health Coach, Rhonda, with her healthy eating online class and she is also implementing the buddy system. Participants are encouraged to do the 30-day detox with their household or at least one other individual. That way they have someone directly holding them accountable and hopefully they can help each other to make the needed lifestyle change. Rhonda understands that the success rate will more than likely increase if a buddy is involved.
I think the same understanding applies to life.
Even the most talented, intelligent, driven individual (take yours truly for example :-)) needs support and encouragement. Life can seem weighty when one is standing alone trying to carry all of its components. But when there is a buddy involved, someone to come along side and help carry the weight, well then, the load is so much more manageable.
Just a few of my buddies…