Pop, pop, popcorn…

Today I have been enjoying Butterkist popcorn… Writing a lecture for work, studying some Japanese vocabulary, walking the dog, catching up with friends, and enjoying Butterkist, sweet, cinema style popcorn.

Now I like popcorn.

It tastes good, and it always seems a little bit healthier than normal snacks because it’s high in fibre. And low in sugar. But I suppose that’s before Butterkist add the the additional intense sugary goodness in.

However, psychologically at least, I feel that it’s a healthy choice.


Now, as I sit here, about to put on a movie and enjoying another handful of Butterkist, I am reminded that popcorn (scientific name zea mays everta), is the only type of corn that will pop.

I read somewhere that when Native Americans first discovered this, some tribes believed that a spirit lived inside each kernel of popcorn. They thought that these normally unobtrusive spirits would begin to jump around if their ‘home’ was heated, getting angrier and angrier until they would burst out with a pop.

Now I laughed when I heard that. My vivid imagination conjured up images of little angry men bouncing around tiny-heated houses until they exploded in a huge ‘bang’!

But, we obviously know that little men (or little spirits) don’t live in popcorn kernels. We know that they pop because each kernel contains a small amount of moisture that turns to steam when heated. We know that popcorn differs from other grains because the shell is not water-permeable, so the steam cannot escape, and eventually, at about 175 degrees Celsius… the corn will pop. 


So, what used to be legend and superstition, is now explained by our greater understanding.

And some people believe that’s just the way it is.

God isn’t relevant anymore.


But, although I don’t think spirits live in popcorn, I do believe in a spiritual realm. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I also believe in heaven and hell and eternity. I believe in satan. I believe in angels and demons. And although I know that Jesus stands victorious as the King of Kings and Lord or Lords, I believe that until He returns, there will be spiritual warfare. 

Maybe not in popping corn. But in trial, and temptation, and despair, and suffering. In breakthrough, and miracles, and revival.

Paul put it like this in Ephesians 6, ‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark work and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’

So, we can pray, and we can stand, and we can fight. And we can see God answer prayer, and intervene, and help us stand firm against temptation. 

And we can know that He that is in us, is far, far greater than he that is in the world.


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