30,000 Pounds of Bananas

On March 18, 1965, a tractor-trailer truck carrying thousands of pounds of bananas careened out of control while descending the hill into Scranton, Pa. In 1974 the story of this tragedy inspired Harry Chapin to write and sing 30,000 Pounds of Bananas. I was a fan of Harry Chapin in 1974 and continue to enjoy songs from his album when they pop up on random play on my mp3 player. I was pondering the words of this song as the song played during one of my commutes into Syracuse. Without actually quoting the entire 12 verse ballad a few of the lines caught my attention and reminded me how troubles pile up.

The driver was controlling a heavy load down a dangerous hill. He was managing the heavy load. His truck was outfitted to move the contents across terrain of all times. He wasn’t even thinking about the load; he had other things on his mind. He was so distracted with the other things he failed to notice the warning signs. It was only when it was too late and the truck was out of control he attempted to slow it down. Here is the verse that caught my attention:

His foot nudged the brakes to slow him down
But the pedal floored easy without a sound
He said, “Christ”
It was funny how he had named the only man
Who could save him now.

And it occurred to me how like the 30,000 pounds of bananas the troubles and anxieties of life can be. We manage them; we pack them in to think of later; we worry about them on sleepless nights; niggle them while waiting in line; we assure ourselves we can manage; we crash and burn. How much better to call out to Christ. The apostle Paul in Philippians 4:6 – 7 tells us Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. In each situation, as soon as it occurs, if we turn to Jesus, if we give him our concerns and troubles we can have confidence He loves us and in all things He works for the good of those who love Him. Jesus Himself encourages us in Matthew 6 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Valuable daughter or son of our loving God, Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7