The Buddy System
From Music and the Spoken WordDelivered By: Lloyd D. Newell
Most of the time we manage to get through each day without asking anyone for help. We want to be independent, and so it’s hard to admit sometimes that there are circumstances when it’s necessary to rely on others. But some things are just better done in pairs, as the words of the scripture remind us: “Two are better than one; . . . For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow.”1
A pair of beginning scuba divers was exploring an underwater cave when one of the divers accidentally lost his mouthpiece. Because he was inexperienced, he panicked and was not able to retrieve the mouthpiece. Desperate for air, he gave his partner a signal that let him know he was in trouble. His partner responded according to emergency procedures he’d learned in class. He gave away his own mouthpiece; then found his backup for himself. When they safely reached the surface, the two divers embraced and laughed like children. Were it not for what those scuba divers called the buddy system, the struggling diver might not have survived.
Although friends are rarely needed to protect us from peril in our everyday lives, we may need them to help us with ordinary difficulties. A good friend is willing to labor with us when a physical challenge is beyond our capacity. There are many jobs that are too much for one person. When our judgment is lacking on a particular issue, a wise friend can offer insightful suggestions. Friends can help us see our struggles objectively from a perspective we never thought of before. And just when it seems as though nobody in the world cares about us, a loyal friend may show up on our doorstep and prove otherwise.
Two are better than one. Friends often have the ability to lift us up in ways we cannot do by ourselves. The buddy system is a lot more than just a good safeguard for scuba divers. It’s a way of life.
1 Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.