The Banana Principle

Last night, as I turned off the kitchen lights and headed for bed, there it lay, on the counter: a half-eaten banana. I immediately recognized this as the workmanship of my husband, the man who can consume an entire bag of chips during one episode of Shark Tank, yet just can’t stomach a whole banana.


The evidence that lay before me told the chain of events: half-peel a banana, eat what you want, and leave the rest still in the peel, the tip of it starting to turn brown. I shook my head and sighed, knowing that in the morning, the banana would be a slimy black mess. I reached to throw it away, but stopped halfway.

‘No more,’ I said to myself, ‘This ends tonight! He needs to see how gross this is in the morning. And that’ll be the last time he’ll leave his mess behind him.”

And smugly I flicked off the light and slipped into bed.

But in the morning, as I shuffled into the kitchen for my coffee, I stared in wonder at the banana, still pale and fresh-looking, except for the 1/4 inch brown exposed tip. “How can this be?” I marveled, bending over this seemingly immortal fruit.

Then I understood the secret to the banana’s hardiness: it was still lying on the peel which had padded and nestled it like a big yellow mama all its life. And it was still attached to the end of the peel by it’s little umbilical cord, safe and sound.

Now, how long this life-sustaining arrangement might have lasted, I do not know, because I ate the little guy, just sliced him up over my cornflakes and drowned him in milk. But I imagine this quaint arrangement could not have continued on without some bad end, just as a baby delivered from its mother’s womb could not go on endlessly attached to her by the umbilical cord. Because that would just be really awkward…

But as I pondered this over coffee and my banana-laced cereal, I was reminded of some words of Jesus from John 15.

“Remain in Me, and I in you…

Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me…

I am the vine; you are the branches…

The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit…

… you can do nothing without Me…

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last…”

I dropped my spoon as His words sunk in. My self-righteous attitude over my husband’s mis-handling of bananas tasted like rot to me now.

It was time for me to stop being a fruit inspector, draw my strength from the vine, and start bearing my own truly lasting fruit.

6 thoughts on “The Banana Principle

  1. What a beautiful analogy. I love how God works like that in the midst of the dailiness of life. But I’m also laughing a lot at he awkward-still-attached-to-the-umbilical-cord sentence, too. Humor and a lesson, all wrapped into one. Banana peel, that is. 😉


  2. DIanne, I think God probably provides more of those analogies than we’re aware of every day. Most of the time, I’m too focused on other things to notice.
    And yes, I think it’s easy to visualize how very creepy and awkward that umbilical cord arrangement would be! 😳


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