The Instant Noodles Craze!

Did you take note during the Pandemic of 2020 that the shelves in the big box grocery stores displaying rice and noodles were often laid bare? I was told that these staples were important to families who had to prepare quick meals for their children who were home and doing remote learning during that time. In these days since, I have observed that the demand for these items has been so strong that the grocers are making additional space for stocking and expanding the sales of these types of ready-to-go meals.

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Several news outlets covered an accident recently that occurred near Little Rock, Arkansas and could have threatened the re-stocking efforts of instant noodles! This must have sent "shock waves" throughout the country among those passionate about their Ramen noodles! 

It was reported that an 18-wheeler, semi-truck carrying 20,000 pounds of this brand product left the roadway and slipped on its side into a lake about 30 miles north of the city. While no one was injured and the lake was not contaminated, a crew of specialists was dispatched donning HAZMAT suits to make sure there was no threat to the environment! 

Some could see the humor of this! Twitter accounts lit up with a variety of comments. "The load value of $26 was a total loss!" With the meteorologists forecasting temperatures around 93 degrees another added, "In this weather, the noodles should be about done!" Another joked, "Just needs to get a bit hotter, add a bit of butter and voila! Bring your own fork!" A fourth person lamented, "Well there goes the fishing! Those fish are going to be fat and happy for a while!"

Ramen brand noodles have become synonymous with all instant noodle products. Just how big is the instant noodle market? Their global market reached a value of $47.08 billion in US dollars in 2020 and is projected to reach $72.69 billion by 2027. These processed noodles originated in Japan in the 1950s, and today are produced in over 90 countries worldwide. On average, you can buy a small bag or container of instant noodles for as little as 25 cents at a big box store!

No doubt, ours is a fast-food culture that takes to the idea of just adding a season packet and some dry noodles to water! And in the "magic of minutes," sitting down to a bowl meal that is simple to make! Nutritionists warn though, "Watch out for the sodium!" A single serving of instant noodles can exceed 1700 mg or 88% of the daily recommended intake these experts say. That flavor enhancement we want, along with the preservative, can be a "a killer" to heart health! 😒

Most of us know that spiritual formation is not instant! I have always been fond of the old preaching illustration reportedly attributed to President Garfield, who at one time was at the academic helm of Hiram College in Ohio. When asked by the parent of an unhappy student whether a curriculum of study could be simplified, Garfield gave an important perspective that applies to both education and faith development. He told the parent, "It all depends on what you want to make of your boy. When God wants to make an oak tree, He takes a hundred years. When He wants to make a squash, He requires only two months!"

Jesus put His disciples on a fast-track of study when He called them to "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men!" When you look at the subsequent years after Jesus' resurrection and return to the Father, you can easily conclude that the Apostles' "course of study" took many more years than those initial, undergraduate ones as they walked with Jesus in the flesh!

A commitment to life-long learning more clearly approximates the journey we call the Christian life! Microwave or just-add-boiled-water meals might do in a rush, but faith only grows to maturity over a lifetime of devotion, study, and encountering experiences that will tempt and test us! Forging an enduring faith often requires fire, but like a good grilled steak, it also needs some intentional moments of resting time as well!

Please check out this whole passage (1 Peter 4:12-19), but here's a sample from Eugene Peterson's paraphrase, The Message of what Peter learned in his faith journey, "Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner." 

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent. 


  1. Everyone wants everything instantly, but our faith grows in everyday life. Thank you Mike. Love you, God Bless


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