Roses and Popcorn

I have been thinking about a lot of different things during the past week. Many of them have to do with the events of Holy Week… some have to do with a major imminent imminent change in my life… and others have been totally random and disjointed musings.

It might sound a bit odd at first, but one of the things I have discovered myself coming back to over and over again lately has been an effort to think about the similarities and differences between ROSES and POPCORN.

Yes. That’s right. Between roses (delicate, beautiful, thorny flower) and popcorn (salty movie-watching food). And yes… there is sort of an Easter-related tie-in to this also.

The common ground these two very different things share arises when we consider the subject of TRANSFORMATION, or change. If you have raised roses or any other variety of flower, you know they tend to unfold very slowly. They start out life as a tiny, green nub and V-E-R-Y slowly but surely enlarge and unfurl their satiny petals to reveal their hidden inner beauty. It is not a process you could sit and observe with the naked eye.

Popcorn transforms, too. But it actually EXPLODES in a fraction of a second… changing from one shape to the next, faster than you can say, “Please pass the melted butter.”

I would then take that a step further and observe that my experience so far has persuaded me that when God is at work in the transformation business, God’s actions tend more to resemble the style of transformation seen in the ROSE rather than in the kernel of POPCORN. That is, God’s transformations tend to unfold slowly and deliberately… over the course of time; like the growth of a child into an adult, or the healing of a wound, or the changing of the seasons. I believe the universe supports the theory that “slow unfoldingness” is God’s preferred modus operandi.

But then again we also see that God retains the ability to continually surprise us… being God and all. We have certainly seen God’s hand at work behind many significant “popcorn” moments in history, too. Times when BOOM! “In the twinkling of an eye…” something is totally transformed… the blind man healed, the Red Sea parted, the giant defeated… the stone rolled away and the tomb emptied.

I guess the take away from all of this for me is to remind me that – even though God is God and can just EXPLODE on you if he chooses to – God prefers transformation that UNFOLDS over time.


Maybe so we can learn patience. Maybe so won’t come to believe we somehow “manipulated” God into granting our wishes. Maybe so we will truly appreciate the beauty and value of the transformation.

I’m not entirely sure.

But what I DO know is that right now… at this very moment… God is at work in YOU and in ME, bringing about a truly amazing transformation.

I can’t wait to see what shape it will take.

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