I LOVE popcorn. I love everything about it—except making it. You see, when I was a kid, I made popcorn in a skillet. Being a natural-born klutz, making popcorn wasn’t easy for me. I’d always end up getting burned by hot oil, or spilling the kernels, or shaking the skillet too vigorously and dislodging the lid with disastrous results. Many times, I’d end up with more popcorn on the floor than in the bowl.
Over time, the skillet gave way to a marvelous new invention—microwave popcorn bags. Unfortunately, the instructions on the package didn’t give an exact cooking time. The directions always said to cook the bag for two to three minutes. Believe me—LOTS of burning can take place during an interlude of sixty seconds! I’ve burned more microwave popcorn than any normal human should be allowed.
I suppose that my lack of corn-popping talent is why I absolutely LOVE my new air popper. In my view, an air popper is a marvelous invention that was especially designed for people like me—the kernelly challenged. The wonderful thing about an air popper is that it’s virtually impossible to burn ANYTHING. The popcorn magically blows out into your bowl the minute it is popped. It’s wonderful! Magical! Truly inspired!
The only problem with an air popper is that there are usually one or two kernels that ALWAYS pop thirty seconds after you think all of the popping is through—but this heart-attack inducing phenomena is something I can easily put up with! After all, a tiny, momentary fright is better than an hour spent airing black smoke from the kitchen after the popcorn burns!
Now what in the world does my air popper have to do with spiritual matters??? Believe it or not, there really is a spiritual lesson that can be learned! You see, I burn popcorn and render it inedible when it is locked inside a hot skillet or when it is trapped inside a microwave popcorn bag. But I can’t burn the popcorn when it blows quickly away from the source of heat in my air popper.
In life, I’ve found that I’m confronted by temptation just about every day. If I stay in close proximity to the temptation, it can be easy to fall into sin. And just like a kernel trapped in a skillet, I can find myself “burned.”
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul says, “There has no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man. But God is faithful. He will not suffer you to be tempted more than you are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that you may be able to bear it.”
As I go about my daily life, I keep Paul’s words in the forefront of my mind. When I am confronted by temptation, I actively look for the “way of escape.” I don’t stick around and analyze the temptation or try to see how close I can get to it without getting burned—I RUN from it. In essence, I try very hard to be a kernel in an air popper rather than a kernel in a microwave bag.
I’ve burned enough popcorn to know that the stench is AWFUL! And I’ve fallen for enough temptations to know that the stench of sin is equally bad. I don’t want anything to do with either of them. I’ll stick with my air popper!!! I’ll stick with looking for ways of escape!