We had a church picnic last Sunday. It was a hog roast, potluck, lawn chair, volleyball, by the lake little kids running around, old people chatting church picnic. The kind that shows up in nostalgia magazines. The kind that shows up in Grabill.
One of the guys makes caramel corn. Not the bake in the oven kind. Not the microwave kind. Not the out of a bag kind. This is the big black kettle on a fire kind. The three basic ingredient kind. The no preservatives, nothing fancy kind.
He starts with a measure of oil. When it’s hot, the same measure of sugar. When it starts to caramelize, someone gets to dump in the popcorn. And then someone gets to catch the flying kernels of caramel corn.
The whole time, he stirs. And keeps the heat on.
When we’re in the middle of change, we look at this recipe and we don’t like it. When it comes to our own change, what we would love would be fancier ingredients. What we would love would be more features. What we would love most would be to have no heat and no stirring.
But you don’t get to the final stage of caramel corn without the heat and without the stirring.
We don’t change by soaking in sweet corn oil. Without the heat, we’d rot. Without the stirring, we’d burn. With heat and the wisdom of someone who knows how to balance everything and stir, it works.