The bottom basket of my freezer is bare. Nothing in it. Nothing at all.
This is a problem because that basket is supposed to be full of frozen overripe brown bananas.
Bananas that – when thawed – can practically be poured out of their peel.
(Bananas that – when frozen – can break a toe if dropped on it.)
Bananas that are absolutely perfect for baking projects.
Bananas that yield domestic gold.
Bananas that ooze culinary delight.
Bananas that are THE single most important ingredient in banana bread, of which I must bake three loaves every Wednesday night for a very particular and discerning crowd.
I have no overripe brown bananas.
None. At. All.
And the twelves pounds of partly-green-mostly-yellow-with-barely-a-hint-of-brown bananas that I just scrounged during a desperation run to the grocery store won’t be transformed into genuine baking gold for another week. At least.
This is just the kind of crisis that threatens to destroy my immediate existence for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. Or rational.
Bottom line: I should have been better prepared. I should have checked the bottom basket of my freezer last week, bought twelve pounds of partly-green-mostly-yellow-with-barely-a-hint-of-brown bananas then, and had plenty of frozen overripe brown bananas now. But I didn’t. And so I don’t.
In a world that can beam data signals halfway across the world in a millisecond, you’d think there’d be a way to fix this. A way to make these bananas ripen quickly. A way to turn at least a small part of this depressing morass of partly-green-mostly-yellow-with-barely-a-hint-of-brown into a lovely pile of mushy-smooshy-runny-oozy-deep-dark-brownness now. Right now. This minute. Immediately.
Huh. How ironic. My little bananas crisis (little, indeed) and the resulting sense of despair and doom and frustration and irritation isn’t really about bananas at all.
It’s about my response to human limitations. To the fact that the world is not mine to orchestrate. To the fact that I cannot control most of what happens around me. To the fact that I am, after all, a created being existing in a created world that – for all of our human advancement and innovation and progress – is not under my authority.
I am only human. Miraculous and beloved and blessed, to be sure, but fully – only – human nonetheless.
The divine does not inherently exist within me. Enlightenment and perfection are not merely a matter of tapping into my own inner reserves of power and strength and wisdom. (Left to itself, my inner reserves are desperately wicked and include nothing of value or merit or worth.)
beyond all reason and comprehension
the Divine does graciously dwell within me. Salvation and redemption are freely offered, poured out at the cross and filling my soul so that I can learn love and humility and obedience. (Left to itself, my soul is filled with my own self which knows nothing of love or humility or obedience.)
The bottom freezer of my basket is empty.
But my soul is full. Oh my …. very full indeed.