The Kernel That Blooms

I always marvel at it. Anytime I see it, I cannot help but consider the kernel it once was. The image that comes to mind is that of a flower in bloom.

I am talking about the fluffy white delight, that is arguably, the world’s oldest snack. Popcorn!

From my research for this article, I learnt that a kernel of popcorn contains water or moisture surrounded by soft starch. The starch is capsuled by the outer covering we see, called the hull. When popcorn is subjected to heat, the water within heats up. As temperature increases the water becomes steam and turns the starch into a gluey substance. Because of the hard hull, pressure mounts up inside the kernel. However, at 204 to 238 degrees Celsius, the hull bursts open spewing out the gluey starch which cools immediately to give us the funny petal-like shape we are familiar with.

The transformation of popcorn from seed to snack is fascinating.

Watch it in slow mo:

Wow! Amazing right.

From this wonder kernel that blooms, one can draw inspiration:

  • Popcorn needs heat to pop, or better still, bloom. Tough times are necessary for bringing out the best in us. ‘Aha’ moments usually come when we are in a quandary.  Take James’ advise,  Dear friends, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.” James 1:2-4 TLB
  • Popcorn in bloom is much bigger that its kernel. It is said that a kernel can swell to 40-50 times its original size. You may seem dwarfed by lack of money, heartbreak, poor self-esteem, academic failure, addiction of any kind., or handicapped in any form. Don’t belittle yourself. You are more than meets the eye. You are bigger than the difficulties you are facing.
  • There are four main types of corn, Dent corn, Sweet corn, Flint corn and Popcorn. Only popcorn pops. This is mainly because if its hull which helps the kernel withstand pressure of heat until the right moment. A moment too soon, there will be no bloom. Even for popcorn, when the temperature is too low, no popping; if it’s too high the kernel burns.
    In life people respond to difficulties differently. Some avoid problems or give in too soon, consequently they don’t bloom. Others, consciously or unconsciously, deny the reality of their situation and eventually get destroyed by it.

Life is imperfect. Difficulties are inescapable. Be glad for them. God has placed a great potential in you. Allow your challenges to pop them out. You will be the better for it; others will be beneficiaries of your invaluable contribution.

Whatever, you may be facing today, the best way to respond is to, ” Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

How do you deal with difficulties?

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Christians, Like Popcorn

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‘The smell of popcorn popping is one that arouses the senses of both young and old and makes the mouth water for a tasty handful. It makes a cold day a little cozier and a movie a little more enjoyable. Just about everything is better with popcorn and almost everyone loves it. If you want to make instant friends, make a batch of popcorn, and walk through a crowded room! It is one of the most beloved snacks of all time…’

The above is the opening paragraph of an article on Popcorn on the Kids Features of NASA’s website.

 

Do you think this is overrated? Overrated or not, the statement got me musing about my relevance, as a Christian.

Take a minute, visualise with me. What if the subject of this paragraph is changed so that the description refers to a Christian, what a beautiful description of me it will be, I muse.

What if everyone everywhere hold the following as strong opinions about me.

      • …connects to almost everyone, irrespective of age, because my presence is pleasing, and evokes in others a yearning to experience what I have. 1 Corinthians 9:22
      • …makes someone else’s life better and, burden bearable, because I consider the needs of others, no matter how small and ordinary, important and worthy of my attention and help. Philippians 2:3 & 4
      • …is beloved of almost everyone, because I’ve got what others need. Matthew 5:14-16 (I am not unaware that it is impossible, and even questionable to be like Christ and be loved by all.)

I wonder, what if it is the opinion and experience of everyone, everywhere, that Christians are the most beloved group of people of all time, because we make the world a better place?

“I am not unaware that it is impossible, and even questionable to be like Christ and be loved by all”

What vision of the world do you see when Christians live up to Jesus’ expectations. Please share. 

I Am…

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The statement, ‘I am…’, can be completed with innumerable descriptions, titles, adjectives etc. Unfortunately, this is not an indication that our sense of identity is right.

To complete the statement I would say, I am…a follower of Jesus Christ.

The following piece is an attempt to describe the identity of a follower of Jesus.

I may be a celebrity:
Or, live my life in obscurity.
But I’m celebrated by God’s angels.

I may own Fortune 500 stocks;
Or, earn so little I can’t save bucks.
Yet I own stocks of immeasurable worth.

I may be heir to a huge bequest;
Or, heir to nothing but family requests
With Christ I’m co-heir, to enduring wealth.

Fame and popularity may be mine;
Or, my description may be ‘everyday man’
What matters is, God knew me before creation.

I may be beloved and fit into the world’s mould;
Or, the tag of ‘world’s most disliked’ I hold.
His love for me is better than life.

How would you complete the statement, ‘I am…?