Anyway, the story goes like this…
Once upon a time in a faraway land where fruit trees abound and grapevines cover the hillsides, stood a dozen or so banana plants. Yes, they felt a little out of place; probably about like a watermelon in a strawberry patch. But that’s the way life was in the fruity little land called Grove.
Grove was known for its sweet, fresh air and well groomed residents. It was a well known fact, that because of Grove’s specially treated water made available with just a twist of the tap, everyone lived to a ripe old age. Visitors always remarked about wishing they could take the town home with them. Everyone loved the little town of Grove.
Except Barney Banana.
Now Barney wasn’t a bad banana; in fact he’d never even been so much as bruised. But he’d heard stories of life beyond Grove, and the wanderlust in his heart began to grow so strong he thought he’d bust right out of his skin.
Old Barney would dream of Monkeland, with its bright lights, fast carts, and loose cupcakes looking for anything with a peel. He knew he could make it big in Monkeland, if he’d only have the chance. Yes, Barney knew he had what it took; and he just had to find a way.
But there were a couple of barriers that hindered our friend from making his big split from Grove.
One, he was downright scared. Well, maybe scared isn’t exactly the word; how about, uptight? Yeah, that’s it. Barney was uptight. Why? It was his momma’s fault. When he was just a little baby, still small and green, she told him about this evil critter that made Monkeland its home. She would describe the evil being as hairy, very quick, with hands and feet unlike anything she’d ever seen. And it loved to tear into bananas.
She also showed him pictures and newspaper clippings of other terrible occurrences happening in the awful and forbidden land of Monkeland. Horrible stories of fellow bananas getting knifed, flayed, and then buried under 3 piles of white dirt, by a grinning monster wearing a little hat. As he studied the pictures, and especially the little hat the monster had on its head, Barney figured the “BR” stood for Banana Ruffian. It was enough to send icy chills up and down his skin.
Of course, Barney was getting older and could fend for himself. And he could certainly do his own thinking. He didn’t need advice from someone who had never lived on her own, and who had always been surround by other bananas; her own kind!
He was tired of hanging around the same, dull, fruity people. He was tired of listening to the same old spider jokes. Like the one, “What do you call something with eight legs on a yellow floor? I don’t know, but it’s crawling up your back!” My, was he ever tired of that one.
So Barney decided he’d been bunched up long enough. No fear was going to hold him back. He’d show his mom, his siblings, and even the Reverend Banana, that Barney B. could make it on his own! He would jump down when an apple cart came by, and off he’d go to Monkeland.
So, the day of opportunity arrived and Barney slipped away. Into the apple cart and out of sight.
Too bad this story doesn’t have a happy ending.
Big Barney met with an untimely death. You see, there was this little old grandma who, that very day, was baking a gingerbread man. She happened to live in the neighboring town of Fairytale.
Anyway, as she finished her baking, she opened the oven door and out jumped her gingerbread man. As it took off out the front door, it sang, “Run, run, as fast as you can; you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!”
Well, grandma chased him about as far as she could. Exhausted, she turned back toward home. All of a sudden she caught sight of the apple cart as it headed toward Monkeland.
“Oooh, that looks good”, she exclaimed as she notIced Barney hiding among the apples.
With that, she reached into the cart, picked up ol’ Barney by the scruff of his neck, and whistled all the way home.
Barney was never seen again.
You see, you never know how things may end up when you decide to leave the bunch. You may get caked, split, smashed, or something else.
But you’ve got to realize that the banana that leaves the bunch is the one that gets peeled.
Think about it.
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25 NLT)