When my life is like popcorn

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Making popcorn at my house is actually a deadly activity. It’s to your advantage to wear some protective footwear! Eye protection’s not a bad idea either. My popcorn popper does pop, but it pops in a rather random fashion. While holding the popper at an angle, most of the popcorn lands in the bowl. But, a surprising amount of it sprays all over my counters and floor. The unpopped kernels are actually the worst because they become unbelievably hot and stepping on such a kernel hurts! There is also a lot of popping that occurs even after I have unplugged the popper. Popcorn sometimes pops right out of the bowl.

My life is often messy like this. The kernels of my life, the activities that occupy my time and energy, all beg for attention. They sometimes shout at me insisting that they are the most urgent activity and therefore most in need of me to drop everything, put on the safety glasses and attend to them first.

It’s in those moments that I wonder how my time has slipped away. I seemed to have time to tackle everything but discover that I’m now backed into a tight corner trying to get it all done. My need to control events and life rears it’s head.

In those moments I’m desperately in need of this reminder.

The Lord is in his holy temple the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them. Psalm 11:4 (NIV)

But God hasn’t moved to the mountains; his holy address hasn’t changed. He’s in charge, as always, his eyes taking everything in, Psalm 11:4 (MSG)

I’ve done things to help my popcorn popper work better. I only pop a 1/3 cup of kernels. I hold the popper at an angle attempting to help the popped corn land directly in the bowl. I let the popper cool down in between popping more popcorn. These attempts to control the situation reveal that my ability is definitely limited. (I agree, it might just be my popcorn popper, but I’ve tried!)

No matter how much I try to control the events that occur around me, God is truly the only one in charge. If I am unable to control a popcorn popper, how can I hope to control my life and all that occurs in and around it. I may attempt to set myself up for success, but when I surrender to the hands, wisdom and ways of my God, a deep sense of peace pervades my soul and my attention is finally fixed in the right direction. His eyes see all. His eyes know when I am filled with joy or when my heart is heavy. Because He sees it all, He knows each emotion that flits through my spirit. More than anything, He longs for me to bring it all before Him. Leaving the random bits and pieces before His throne is the best choice I can make because

… the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face. Psalm 11:7 (NIV)

God’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, Setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye. Psalm 11:7 (MSG)

My messy life will not necessarily be straightened out as quickly as I might wish for it to be. But my God who sees has the best plan. He’s only too happy for me to give Him the popcorn of my life.

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