A Predicament of Biblical Proportions
“A Predicament of Biblical Proportions,” an Adventures in Odyssey Club (AIOC) exclusive, is episode #797 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Bob Hoose, was originally released in the AIOC on September 1, 2016, and aired on the radio on September 22, 2018.
Dropped off at school, Buddy has a daydream of all the kids in school pointing at him and yelling, "New kid! New kid!" Of course, it was only a daydream. Sensing his own stress, Buddy finds a quiet spot to pray: his locker. Unfortunately, his locker just happens to be around the corner from Dion's! Dion is busy grilling Gavin Thomas about joining Vance's "team," and tells him that he has to be tough. Don’t smile; frown and growl, he says. And the best people to growl at are the "religious" kids carrying Bibles! Suddenly, Buddy's phone beeps. Dion turns around, and, wanting to make a lesson out of Buddy, instructs Gavin to growl. He does, and Buddy finds himself transported to the Old West! Dion and Gavin become a rustler and a wolf, ready to pounce on the sheep in their way – Buddy. Just when they're ready to tie him to the tracks, Buddy snaps out of it. Dion warns him to not cross their paths again, or he'll sic "Gavin the Growler" on him.
Later in class, Buddy bumps into Emily Jones, who shows off her detective skills by announcing his first and last names, along with his nickname. After she says that she'd be happy to fill him in "on the way things work around here," that phrase buzzes around in his head, causing yet another daydream. This one doesn't last long, though, and Emily invites him to sit with her at lunch, and to introduce him to someone special. Lunch comes, and Buddy meets Matthew Parker. The two of them learn from just a smudge on Buddy's finger that he is a left-hander who likes to draw. This leads him to a daydream parodying Sherlock and Dr. Watson, with Emily and Matthew finding out random facts about him: he throws his dirty socks on the floor of his closet, he is 12 years, 5 months, and 3.275 days old, he chews his fingernails, and has 'Tubby the Choo-Choo' pajamas and slippers. Coming back to reality, the lunch bell rings, and everyone heads back to class. After a side comment from Emily that "too bad bringing a Bible to school isn't illegal," Buddy starts to think. After school, he winds up at Whit's End, where he sees Mr. Whittaker not as himself, but as Willy Wonky, the sugar-crazed ship captain!
The next day, Ms. Adelaide addresses the class, stating that bringing a Bible to school the next day (which happens to be Bring Your Bible to School Day) is not "illegal," but it should not be used during times of teaching. After all, school should be a place for Freedom from Religion. "You mean Of, right?" Buddy asks. Ms. Adelaide’s eyes flair up, and Buddy finds himself in a courtroom with an angry Queen of Hearts, condemned to angry ravings and a banana-cream pie in the face!
Buddy feels confused. Was Ms. Adelaide telling him not to bring a Bible? He goes for a walk — at lunch (which his mother has already grounded him for, he explains) — and finds Mr. Whittaker in a park nearby. He learns that Mr. Whittaker is actually like his own dad — kind, understanding, a Christian and wise. Whit encourages Buddy to bring his Bible tomorrow — not to make a big deal of it, but to exercise his right to do so.
The next day, Buddy brings his Bible. He reads it during lunch... and is caught by Dion! With Gavin close behind, Dion tries to 'sic' him on Buddy. Gavin is hesitant, so Dion raps on the table, stands up, and yells that "Buddy Boy" has something to say about his Bible! Time shifts into slow motion; the clock on a wall bangs in Buddy’s ears. But he stands up and explains, "I'm carrying this Bible to let you know who I am. I believe in what the Bible says, and I try to live out what it says. I think it tells us how to be better people, and care more, and serve the world around us the way God wants us to."
Silence fills the cafeteria. Then Emily stands up and speaks; so does Matthew, and lots of others. Then Gavin stands and speaks, too! Looking to Ms. Adelaide for help (and finding none), Dion is defeated.
Heard in episode
- The slow-motion scene in this episode is reminiscent of the scenes in #466: “Snow Day” and #539: “Called on in Class”.
- This episode promotes Bring Your Bible to School Day as its featured support.
- This episode was the first club-exclusive episode to be released on the radio- it aired on the AIO weekly broadcast on September 22, 2018, to promote Bring Your Bible to School Day that year. It was the fourth club-exclusive episode released outside the Club, after #739: “The Launch, Part 1”, #749: “The Drop Box”, and #773: “Hidden Gems”.
- We've all felt like the new kid at some point, even if we've never switched schools or unpacked a moving van. Share your most memorable "new kid" moment. Where were you? Why did you feel out of place? What helped you feel better?
- Do you know anyone like Buddy who's struggling to fit in? How can you help? If someone new were to visit your school or church, what could you do to make them feel welcome? (Read Hebrews 13:2)
- Dion roamed the halls looking for kids to harass. Have you ever felt unsafe because of a bully?
- Buddy's wonky first impression of Mr. Whittaker was shaped by a movie he had seen. Why should we be careful about the things we watch and listen to? Do you think God cares about our entertainment? Consider Romans 12:2, Colossians 2:8, and Philippians 4:8.
- Describe some of the positive ways we can use our imaginations. What made Buddy's daydreams unhealthy?
- Do you plan to take your Bible to school on Thursday, October 6? Why or why not?
- Whit said, "There are a lot of ways to show others that you're a Christian." Can you name a few? Read Galatians 5:22-23 together. Why are those qualities important if we hope to be imitators of Christ?
- Is there anyone in the Bible whose bold stand for God has inspired you to be bold, too? If you had been in the lunchroom with Buddy that day, what would you have done?
- What did Whit mean when he said, "Sometimes the loudest words are the ones left unspoken"?
- The Odyssey Adventure Club has had members in nearly 50 countries all around the world. Some of those governments allow religious freedom. Many don't, even bullying people who live for Jesus. How are Christians and the Bible treated where you live?
Dion Farkus: What is your malfunction?
Gavin Thomas: I'm Gavin Thomas. And I don't have my Bible with me. I left it in my locker, 'cause I was afraid of what other people would say.
Dion Farkus: Gavin! You need to sit down, dude.
Gavin Thomas: No, Dion. I need to stand up.