There is a slim chance you make it through school without participating in "popcorn reading." For anyone who doesn't like to read out loud, I might be triggering some negative emotions. For those that don't know, popcorn reading is a technique many teachers use to ensure participation in a large group reading exercise. Usually popcorn reading involves reading a passage or story that's fairly lengthy. Someone starts off reading, and once they reach the end of a particular sentence or paragraph, they are given free reign from the teacher to call on anyone else in the class to pick up the reading. The idea here is because you don't want to get embarrassed being called on and not knowing where the reading last stopped, you better pay attention and be ready for when your name is called. There's always the one kid who doesn't care and is lost no matter what during popcorn reading, but for the good faithful students, following along and being prepared is a must!
Today's biblical connection to popcorn reading is found in 1 Peter 3:15. It says, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." In the same way our teachers expect us to be prepared when our name is called during popcorn reading, God expects us to have an answer to who and where we place our hope.
Recently, a coworker was sharing with me how frustrated he was with the world and the bad direction it appears to be headed. I disagreed with many of the points my coworker was making, but I knew the source of my disagreement with him. Instead of arguing with my coworker, I said, "When you realize we live in a fallen, broken world, placing your hope and trust in the Lord becomes the only way to live." I wanted my coworker to know exactly where hope is truly found. God wants us to have an answer for the hope that we have because He is the peace that surpasses all understanding. Will you be ready when your name is called?