AND THIS IS HOW YOU DO ME?? Part 2 – “Buying Bananas 24/7″

Appreciated the feedback from the first post. Thought I would go a bit deeper on this one.

Though the blog world is always filled with surprises, I feel that I have some sense of my audience here. I know that some of you reading were really bothered and did not want to comment for whatever reason ranging from not wanting to get a lengthy debate or lack of time to articulate your thoughts or whatever. Having had this conversation a few times now, I’d like to offer the following parameters.

First, I do believe God is sovereign. I believe in His Divine Foreknowledge. I believe His Omniscience contains every detail.
Second, I do not believe that God is arbitrary and that life is random and incidental (I think it’s much, much more complicated than that).
But Third, I do not believe that God is an All-Mighty Micromanager. I do not believe in Foreordination. And I do not believe He manipulates every detail. But I do believe that in providence and that He intervenes (but it is complicated, unpredictable, and beautifully mysterious; a true reflection of His character).
Fourth, To put it simply, I think God “outsources” a lot to free will, that our lives are dramatically altered by a sin-stained world, and that we can learn beautiful truths about God, and the pains, joys, hardships and triumphs of life.
Fifth, EVEN IF, God has a “reason for everything”, I do not believe our finite minds could systematically understand it, predict it, or figure it out.

I know that does not satisfy some people’s concerns but that’s an adequate start for me.

I do not want to make a strawman out of the Steve Johnson tweet but one of the things that frustrates me the most is the lack of consistency in applying this motto. The energy it would take to find the reason in everything would be endless. Sure, in some sense there is a lesson in everything, if you twist long enough and become satisfied when you feel like being satisfied.

But my problem is when we take something random, “I went to the super-market today to get bananas and ran into “so-and-so”. And I wasn’t going to get bananas but I remembered that they are rich in Potassium and I have always felt depleted in that area and so I went and boy am I glad I did! Because I bumped into “so-and-so” and I had a great conversation and “so-and-so” said, “I’m glad I saw you, I needed that.” (For the record, this is based on a true story. In fact, numerous stories. I’m not kidding.)

I am happy for you and “so-and-so”. But what is the lesson here? For one, it may be to always go to the store on a whim to get whatever is needed or to patrol the aisles for acquaintances (yes, acquaintances; if they were friends you could call them rather than wait to ambush them at Shop Rite). The lesson to another is that God’s favorite fruit is the banana and is most glorified by our consumption of it. And the lesson to me may be you should get a job at the grocery store. What is the lesson here? What did God want you to learn from going to the grocery store? And what happens on the day when you go to the grocery store to pick up bananas and nothing really happens? Are you in sin (banana gluttony)? Are you purchasing the wrong products? Do you exit the store, heave the shopping cart and exclaim, “I buy bananas 24/7 and this is how you do me??”

I submit that sometimes God doesn’t expect you to learn anything from the grocery store outside of living your life in the manner He has called you. As fun as this is for me to write, if I understand people correctly, this is how they live … if they were being consistent with “everything has a reason” motto. While I certainly believe that God wants us to learn, meditate, pray, and seek wisdom, knowledge, growth, virtues, love, etc., I think it’s much more of a macro, broad view of being human then the analyzing of selective minutia of life. To put it more simply, as Christians, if we live seeking to follow Jesus, not only will we find “reason” but find communion with God and with each other.


  1. i have been checking the computer twice daily for part 2 of “this is how you do me,” and was not disappointed by the sequel. the problems increase exponentially when these same well intentioned yet theologically erroneous statements are made in the midst of tragedy. whenever i make reference to your thoughts on this issue, tim, i will always give you credit.

  2. Jared! Thanks for reading and for the kind words, pal. Hope all is going well in China. I need to catch up on your blog but I have been praying for Chyloe and the safe arrival of your son.

    I completely agree with you on these statements being made in tragic times and the next couple posts are exactly about that. My argument is that we use this these sentiments as escapisms rather than going through the valley while seeking the grace of the Lord.

    I’ll be praying for your family and your mission in China today – thanks for commenting – see you around.

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