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Banana Days

bananasI really admire my brother’s wife Michelle. This woman has a Steady Eddie type of personality. She works two part-time jobs, is an amazing cook for her elementary-aged sons, juggles football schedules, laundry, and cleaning, and—OH YEAH—puts up with my big brother. Seriously, I’ve never seen her get rattled. Last week I greeted her with, “Hey, how was your day?” She calmly complained, “Oh, it was banana day. I hate banana day.”

One of Michelle’s part-time jobs is at her son’s school where she helps on the playground and in the cafeteria as an aide. “Banana day? What’s that?” I asked. I couldn’t help but laugh as she described what a “banana day” entailed. Her cafeteria duty puts her in contact daily with 500 children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Each grade has only fifteen minutes to get in line, grab their lunches, eat those lunches, and be back in line to head back to class.

She told me if a student gets the unfortunate position of being last in line, he will only have five minutes to eat. Her job is to keep the process moving along smoothly. Most days are a challenge, but when the cafeteria’s menu contains a whole unpeeled banana, the frustration level tends to grow by leaps and bounds.

All of the kindergartners, first graders, and even some older children are calling out for help to “open” the banana! As she runs (or walks quickly…she is also the enforcer of the ‘no running’ rule) from one table to the next, opening bananas, she continues to hear cries of “I need help!” or “Me, too!” and “Hey lady, help me!” Her fingernails are filled with squished banana innards, her pulse rate is filled with the awareness of the moments on the clock, and her mind is filled with frustration towards mothers who haven’t taught their children how to release a banana from its peel.

Hundreds of bananas later, Michelle is finally able to head home and close yet another “banana day,” knowing that she has a couple of weeks before they are on the menu again. As she calmly relayed all of these facts, her final comment was, “Oh yeah, and by the way, I’ve always hated bananas.”

Banana days are just part of this human journey, aren’t they? I’m so glad that Jesus walked this earth as a man. Yes, He was fully God, but He was also fully experiencing life as a human.

May we lean into Him during our challenging banana days, knowing that His grace is sufficient for us and that He has walked this earth and has overcome it.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. -1 Corinthians 10:13

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