Do you know what will make my two-year-old completely lose her mind? Breaking her banana while peeling it! Mary is a child who likes routine, and part of her morning ritual is snuggling with me while I sip coffee, and she eats a banana. Most mornings, the banana peels easily, but occasionally in the peeling process, it breaks as I open it. My heart sinks as I think, “Oh, no! I did not have enough coffee to handle a meltdown.”
Oh, boy can a broken banana set her off! As she’s our third child, I know that this is a right of passage in the world of toddlerhood, making a stance for how she wants things to go. And let’s be honest, we adults are notorious for throwing our own little temper tantrums when things don’t go the way we want them to go. How many times did God hear my own tantrums over things as simple as a broken banana? I honestly don’t want to know the number!
Whether life hands us something small or large that messes with our plans, we have a simple choice. It is the choice that Mary makes every time her banana breaks: to calm down and work with what’s before her or continue her meltdown because things didn’t go as she planned. And while her meltdown may go for a bit some mornings, I never once saw her refuse to eat the banana. At some point she calms down and accepts the reality before her and decides to work with what she’s got.
We have the same choice that Mary does. The difference comes in who we know is walking with us through the situation. Mary can only grasp that my husband or I am with her. You and I, though, have the intelligence and the understanding to know that God is not only sitting with us in whatever we are facing, but that God will also guide us to know how to work with what we’ve got.
So, while I am notorious for telling God, “Don’t you dare break my banana,” I also know that even if my banana breaks, God’s going to get me through it!
I truly enjoyed this article and plan to use the message with my Small Christian Community from St Clare of Assisi. At 63, I have been handed a few broken bananas. I’ve learned to take the brokenness and count on The Holy Spirit to calm my nerves. I pray Mary will always know that she has someone who will listen to her rant and give her peace.
The time in which it takes a toddler to be restored to equilibrium following a mishap, a crimp in the plants, or a small matter that looms large seems quite respectable when compared to my epic interior monologues when faced with similar circumstances. Quite recently my entire world cracked apart. It is not for me to ask why. It is for me to make my way through the canyons to the surface and to the sky.