A Quest for Hot Popcorn and Candy
Psalm 121:7-8 (NLT)
7 The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.
8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
Psalm 71:6 (NLT)
6 Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you!
When I was a girl Saturday was the one day of the week that I got to stay inside and help my mom with the house chores. On a good Saturday I would get to do some baking as well. Although it was still work I preferred it volumes over working outside in the fields or doing any of the other farm chores. My brothers would work outside with my dad, and believe me he had their projects well lined out for the day.
As far back as I can remember after our chores were done on most Saturday afternoons, we would drive approximately twenty miles into the closest town to pick up a few grocery items, mainly things that we did not grow on the farm. Sometimes daddy would treat us to a movie, but almost always we could count on daddy taking us downtown on Main street to S. H. Kress. Once there, he would treat us to a long tall bag of hot popcorn and corn candy or sometimes orange slices or other candies that were sold at the candy counter.
My mouth waters to this day just thinking about it. Yum Yum! Although I must say, these days my candy preference has changed to that wonderful thing called chocolate and for the record, I now prefer chocolate covered almonds with my bag of hot popcorn.
For those of you who do not know, S. H. Kress was a chain of “five and dime” department stores across the country. This store got quite the business in our little town. I am sure by now that you can tell that their candy counter made quite the impression on me, as well as it did on others who would frequent this establishment.
On other occasions daddy would drive us to the town bakery and buy their fresh hot donuts, or his favorite apple turnovers. We couldn’t wait for daddy to get back to the car and share those apple turnovers and donuts with us. They were delicious!
Another Saturday activity for our family was bowling on Saturday evenings. Our daddy loved bowling so we got to go to the bowling alley quite frequently.
One Saturday when I was about six years old my dad still had quite a few chores to do, so my mom decided that just the two of us would go into town and do our weekly shopping. I guess you could call it a Girls Day Out.
My mother has always loved wearing beautiful clothes, however I must tell you she will only consider purchasing them, if there is a really good sale going on. On this particular Saturday, she had heard that one of her favorite stores downtown was having a big sale. Needless to say that was our first stop when we got to town. Everyone that knows my mom knows that she enjoys shopping, and that she enjoys it even more if she can get a great bargain.
The department store that we went to had two levels. The Men’s clothing department was on the lower level and the Women’s clothing department was upstairs.
After watching my mom thumb through dress after dress I guess I must have become bored with her wonderful shopping adventure. The whole time I was there my mind was on S. H. Kress and that delicious popcorn. Momma did not get as excited about popcorn and candy as dad and us kids did, and because I knew that, I guess I just decided to take matters into my own hands. It never dawned on me to ask my mother if I could go. I guess in my six-year-old mind I figured, with her being so busy looking at dresses I could go and return before she would ever miss me. Because I had never done anything like this before, she had no reason to think that I would. I had always stayed close by when I was out shopping with momma, even though in those days’ parents didn’t have to be quite as attentive to their little ones as they do now. Momma always wanted us where she could keep an eye on us if we were away from home.
Well that was not going to be happening on this particular Saturday. My big adventure was underway.
H. Kress was just across the street from where we were shopping. I went downstairs to the first floor and literally just walked out of the store onto the street. No adult tried to stop me and I don’t know that anyone even noticed that a six-year-old child was walking out of the store alone. I was a kid on a mission. I was downtown on Main street on a Saturday afternoon, and the candy store was in plain view.
Life was good!
For me to get to S. H. Kress I had to wait at a traffic light before I could cross the street. I had never crossed a street alone before, so I stood there as others gathered to cross also. When the light changed I walked when everyone else started to walk. There were railroad tracks that ran through the center of the downtown area that I had to cross as I crossed the street. I was still walking with the crowd, and I was in the home stretch for hot popcorn when I heard someone call out my name. When I looked up it was my great aunt on my dad’s side of the family. She was a pretty lady who always wore beautiful dresses that had been starched to perfection. She wore the most gorgeous matching shoes and her gray hair was always styled in a perfect bun right on the top of her head. She was quite friendly but she could also be quite stern. She was a school teacher, so she knew just exactly how to deal with children.
She quickly grabbed my little hand and wanted to know where on earth I was going. She also wanted to know where my mother was. I calmly told her that I was on my way to S. H. Kress to get a bag of popcorn and some candy. Now that I look back on it, I don’t even know if I had money with me. All through my aunt’s interrogation I could only think of the popcorn that I obviously would not be getting. She turned me around and quickly walked me right back across the railroad tracks. She asked me if my mother knew where I was and I told her no. That of course made her even more determined to get me back to her as quickly as possible. I didn’t know what all of the fuss was about, after all I knew where I was going and I knew that I had planned to return.
When my mom saw me she frantically asked ” where were you?” By this time, she had missed me and was looking for me. She never dreamed that I had actually left the building. She probably thought at most, I had just wondered into another department within the store.
Although I did not get the popcorn and candy I was in search of, I guess I should be thankful for God’s timing. Now looking back on it, what a blessing that my aunt was crossing the railroad tracks at the same time that I was. She was actually coming from the opposite direction, and when she saw my little face she took charge. Wouldn’t it be great if we had more people that would speak up and take charge like my aunt did, when something doesn’t look quite right. Thank God that no one else grabbed my little hand that day. God was watching over me for sure, even though I didn’t even realize that this potentially could have been a dangerous situation.
My Key points from this little popcorn adventure:
1. When I left the safety of my mother’s side, I immediately was risking not being reconnected with her again. Many times we foolishly risk the security and protection that being in close relationship and fellowship with God provides, because we are determined to have our own way.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
Proverbs 3:26 (NLT)
26 for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.
2. Without even really knowing it, I wanted to be in control the day I walked out of the department store. There are times when we simply do not want to surrender our will to God’s will. We think that we know best. We never think of the potential danger in having things our way. His ways are always what’s best for us.
7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
3. Once I left the store my mother was no where near my mind, but you can believe there was someone more precious to her than even the prettiest dress and that was me. Here’s a bit of good news, even though God may slip from our thoughts from time to time in our quest to have our own way, we will never ever slip from His thoughts, because we are so precious to Him. Praise God for His unfailing love for us!
Psalm 139:17-18 (NIV)
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.
3 He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
4. The safest place in life, is to be in the center of God’s will.
When you are determined to have your own way, ask yourself, am I acting like a six-year-old that wants her bag of popcorn. A sign of a mature Christian is one that is willing to wait on God’s timing and willing to trust that He knows what’s best and when it’s best.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Isaiah 64:4 (NLT)
4 For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you,
who works for those who wait for him!
25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.
26 So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.
27 And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline: