Alas, Mr. Joel, I did.
I was making popcorn for some friends who were over to watch So You Think You Can Dance. I hadn’t made stovetop popcorn in a while, so I guess I was out of practice.
I poured some oil in a pot and set it on the burner to warm. I stepped away to retrieve the popcorn kernels and returned, not to a simmering pot as expected, but to a roaring fire ball! Flames leaping well out of the container and no shortage of fuel, ahem, oil, to keep the flames going.
Thankfully, I did not stop to take a picture at this point!
My eyes widened to near my hairline and I leapt into action, going through my checklist. Don’t use water — smother! Options: 1. Tight fitting lid is on the counter. 2. Baking soda is in the cabinet to the right. 3. Fire extinguisher is in the pantry.
Thankfully, the first option did work. I grabbed the pot and lid and quickly cut off the oxygen supply.
I then walked outside and unfurled the lid to let off the smoke that had ballooned in the smothered fire-pot seeking to avoid adding smoke inhalation to my list of kitchen grievances.
But the best part was, our guests never knew anything had happened! They wondered why I walked outside with the pot, but were more captivated by the hip hop than my strange antics. I was thankful that I was cool under pressure and knew what to do. I had two other options if the lid trick hadn’t worked. I didn’t scream or panic. I was MacGyver – cool, crafty, and collected in the face of literal flames! But I didn’t know that’s how I would have reacted. If the fire hadn’t tested my quick thinking or my resourcefulness, I wouldn’t know that I was capable of handling it without overreacting.
I think that’s true in life as well. It’s not until we’re challenged, dealt a hard providence, or experiencing the fires of trials that we know what we’re capable of. That we know where we’d turn. Though it is not pleasant, fires in life strengthen us.
What fires (literal or figurative) have you dealt with lately? How have you handled them? Who or what did you turn to when the fire(s) started?