Monday, September 17, 2012

Banana Cars, Church Signs and Being late to Vespers

Banana Car
photo by Brett Davis, used under the creative commons license.
check out more photos at:

My kids to this day, even though they are adults, play a game while we are driving called Banana Car~ Basically, you get one point for each yellow car (same color as a banana hence the name of the game) that you spot and at the end of the trip, the one with the most points, wins. A silly game, I know but it passes the time and usually leads to great discussions on different shades of yellow. I bet you didn't know that one color could hold together one conversation for more than ten minutes :)

Why mention the Banana Car game? I'll get to that in a minute but first let me tell you that at my protestant parish, I am responsible for changing the Church sign. I took that job because I used to complain that our associate pastor, who used to change the sign, took such a long time to switch out the sayings. I mean there are only so many weeks you can read the same cheesy quotation without getting sick of it. So, I felt impressed (I think it was the Holy Spirit) to instead of complaining about something, to actually be willing to do something! So I volunteered to take over changing the sign, much to Pastor Brad's delight who really didn't like changing it.

It turns out, I didn't like changing it either and now the sign sits even longer with the same (not so cheesy now) quotation. (For the most part I put up Scripture Verses instead of sayings like, in the heat of the summer, You think it's hot here or Honk if you love Jesus; Text while driving if you want to meet Him.)Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you want to meet Him.) So I deci

The church sign
So I am off to Vespers, knowing I will be late because I took too long on the sign. And, of course, I am in a bit of a bad mood because, believe it or not, I hate being late, even though it seems to happen a lot! As I am at the traffic light, waiting for it to change, I notice two girls on bicycles weaving through the stopped cars . Now, if this had been moving traffic, it would have been very dangerous for these girls but they decided that since the cars weren't moving while we waited for the light to turn green they would quickly cross over. One of the girls seemed to be a bit nervous about weaving through the cars but the other shouted encouragements. She had the biggest smile on her face as she talked to her friend and in the middle of a sentence she yells, "Yellow Car" and continues on with her conversation. I see a yellow car opposite me and I quickly realize that this girl is playing Banana Car only by a different name. As I said, she had a big smile on her face and it seemed to me she was just living in the moment that God gave her and, well, rejoicing! Her smile helped me get out of my little bad mood.

As I walked into Vespers (7 minutes late, it turns out) I quickly take my place and jumped right into the Psalm with the Faithful. My bad mood was gone and I was able to worship without too much distraction. It wasn't until later when I had time to reflect that I realized this girl taught me something I forget sometimes. God gives us moments and when you are standing in prayer with others who love Christ, live in that moment and give it your all.

I know in the Divine Liturgy, there is a point where we are asked to "lay aside all earthly cares."

That's great advice.

Hopefully, I will continue to learn to do that!


  1. In your private prayer rule, it is best to seek the advice of the priest that gave it to you. That said, I use full prostrations for some parts that you would usually do a metany in Church. A blessing can be obtained to add more prostrations to your prayer rule if you feel you need more. I love prostrations in mine because it helps with focus and is a very humbling position to be in before the Lord. I hope this helps.

    Warmly in Christ,

  2. John, actually I don't really talk to Fr Gary that much. I usually scoot right out of church after Vespers to pick up my son from work. I guess I should make time to talk to him about this.
    thanks for your input.