Recently, I made the pilgrimage to The World Of Coke in downtown Atlanta. We southern folks are crazy about our Coke! This place has been on my bucket list for years and it was time to make some family memories. After viewing the museum of all-things-Coke I am now double-sure that the whole world is crazy about it too…as if I didn’t already know!
After all, I’ve drank Coke in some pretty out-of-the-way places. I love sipping it from a plastic bag in Thailand with an expertly tied, improvised rubber band strap to loop around my finger. But, nothing compares to pulling a “Baby Coke” (my name for a small bottle Coke) from a washtub full of icy water.
I can picture it now…popping off the top as a misty white cloud of frozen carbonation wafts from the top of the bottle.
And, let’s not forget Coke’s classic red, which happens to be my signature color. Coke just looks good on me!
About half-way through the tour, I encountered a massive quote posted on an equally massive wall…
“A bottle so distinct that it could be recognized by touch in the dark or lying broken on the ground.”
Everyone knows Coke by its bottle. The design of the bottle is unique and purposeful…it has not changed since the advent of the brand.
This quote spoke more than a design philosophy, it was a mission statement.
I’ve not been a place in the world that I couldn’t buy a Coke. Even when the local water was not safe to drink, I could still rely on Coke to be the “real thing”…it looked like I expected it to look and it tasted like I expected it to taste no matter how unsettling or bizarre my surrounding may have been.
Just like Coke, I too should be immediately recognizable. My life should be unmistakable to everyone who comes in contact with me. I should be the REAL THING. I should look the way people expect me to look and I should act the way people expect me to act.
Why?…because I am an image-bearer of Christ.
Just like Coke’s distinctive bottle, my life is filled with the Holy Spirit’s presence and gifts. If I am really full of God’s presence, then people should be able to recognize God’s presence when it pours out in my thoughts, attitudes, and actions.
I should be the real thing!
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
15-17 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
It was fascinating to hear how closely the Coke company has guarded its secret recipe for well over a century. In fact, the bottling companies have never had access to the recipe…all they do is bottle it!
But, unlike Coke, the message of Christ has remained consistent for thousands of years…the recipe for life in Christ is no secret at all.
Would someone be able to point you out as a Christian based solely on your life; your words and actions? We live in a season of considerable turmoil and yes, each day we’re assailed by a considerable amount of stress.
“Adversity introduces a man to himself.” – Albert Einstein
Still, we are not defined by our circumstances, but rather our response to them. I’ve heard the word “together” mentioned a lot in the last few months. Agreeably, a lot of adversity and uncertainty have been dumped on all of us this year, but it’s still up to each person to determine how to respond.
So, this begs the question, “What are you pouring out on a daily basis?” If your life and responses don’t immediately identify you as a Christian, then it’s time to stop and take stock; if not for other people’s sake then for your own. God’s promises are enduring and His mandate is clear.
The “real” Christ-follower needs to keep the “main thing” the main thing. It’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking that everyone needs to hear us wax eloquent on the political landscape or the Coronavirus. After all, that’s what is on everyone’s mind…right?
How could it not be on everyone’s mind when that’s all you see? People are drowning in opinions. Only God’s unchanging truth can break through the chaos. There are too many counterfeits out there…people need to see the real thing in you and in me.