He ate my popcorn.
That’s what started it.
A ridiculous argument over puffed up corn kernels.
And it wasn’t even the dripping with butter, salty-goodness, sit through a two-hour movie with a giant bucket of theatre-worthy fare.
It was just plain ole’ popping corn, popped in oil with a scant sprinkling of salt.
Any other time I wouldn’t have even bothered to stick my hand in that bland bowl. But I was on Day 6 of a 21-day Daniel Fast and that popcorn was like taste bud gold to me.
During a Daniel Fast certain foods are denied as an act of worship and devotion to God. During this three-week period I had committed to eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and drinking only water. Dairy, meat, sugar, white flour, caffeine and basically anything that tastes remotely pleasurable were literally off the table. However, the fast is not supposed to be about your need for certain foods, but more about realizing your need for God.
And in every fast I’ve ever done I have encountered God in a very real and powerful way. It has been a blessing beyond measure. But this time on Day 6, I was feeling a little bit edgy. I had spent the first two days of the fast with severe caffeine and sugar withdrawal headaches. It was taking my body a few days to adjust to this basically vegan-diet-on-steroids and I was feeling physically and emotionally drained. Plus I had a sinus infection.
Since my husband had embarked on this fasting journey with me, we had visited the Whole Foods store several times to stock up on organic produce and grains. The last time we were there we’d bought two bags of Skinny Pop, a permissible snack for the fast. In my naiveté I assumed he would eat one bag and I would have the other.
Cue the popcorn crisis.
I got about a handful from the first bag. No problem. There was a second bag waiting for me.
When I found out that he had eaten the entire second bag of popcorn I am sorry to say that I was not very Christ-like in my response.
As I look back on it now, the argument that ensued was so stupid it’s embarrassing.
Me: (in my best victim’s voice) “How could you eat all that popcorn? You knew I said I was going to have it for a snack at school!!”
Husband: (sheepishly) “I thought you said you already took a bag to school.”
Me: (misguided righteous indignation) “How could I have taken a bag to school when we only bought two bags?” Dat-dat-dum…
It got worse. I couldn’t find the date paste in the fridge and accused him of throwing it away. Oh the horror of eating unsweetened oatmeal!
O.K., Clearly Not My Best Moment.
However it also highlighted something very important for me.
It showed how much I need Jesus.
Without Jesus, I am self-absorbed. Without Jesus, minor irritants distract me from God’s bigger plan for my life. Without Jesus, my wants supersede someone else’s needs.
I don’t ever want to be without Jesus.
Thankfully, Romans 8:31-39 from the Message Bible tells me that absolutely nothing can separate me from the love of Jesus. “None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”
Not even Skinny Pop.