Things I’ve Learned as a Soda Vendor
By Eric Darsie
This week marks the last couple of days as a Coca Cola Merchandiser for me. Officially I was a Coke Merchandiser (Vendor) for five months. Throughout the five months I’ve been throwing cases upon cases of Coke, I had a lot of time to think and seek my heart. There’s been many a thoughts I strongly disliked (anger issues, lust, etc.) and found stuff in my heart that I had to give up to God (lack of self-discipline to meet up with God for quiet times, etc.). As my time finished with Viking Coca Cola and have a few days off, I thought I’ll put down some of the things I’ve learned before I start full-time with Spee Dee Delivery.
My thought life was something that stunned me at six in the morning at Wal-Mart when I’ve been working for a little more than an hour. It wasn’t just at six but throughout the day, I often found myself angry at work over ungodly thoughts I let linger around in my mind. Stupid stuff like acceptance of others (which I should only look at Christ for my acceptance) and how others wrong me (when I should look at the positives within people and how I’ve been blessed with them in my life).
I’ve been listening to a sermon series by Tullian Tchividjian on the book of Colossians entitled “Jesus + Nothing = Everything.” One huge thing I’ve been learning through it is God wants us to obey Him out of love. If we don’t have the desire in our heart to meet up with Him and read His Bible (going with my example), then He doesn’t want me to. God doesn’t want me to become a legalist when it comes to meeting up with Him (so on and so forth).
Another thing I’ve learned from Tullian is that I shouldn’t look for acceptance from others (my desire to hang out with people) and only look at my acceptance from God the Father through God the Son. God doesn’t want me to look towards other people and place my self-value on if people want to spend time with me or not but on if God wants to spend time with me, which is a giant YES! God loves me and wants to spend time with me enough to die on a cross for me and rose three days later.
Jesus talked about what defiles a person isn’t what they put into their body but what comes from their heart. I often found within my heart at work is that I want to take the negatives of life and ponder on them instead of the positives. If someone wronged me (intentionally or unintentionally), I became bitter against them and didn’t want to forgive them, forget the wrong, and move past. This bothered me because I didn’t give up those wrongs up to God and in those moments I’m telling God ‘I’m gonna judge them because I’ll give out a better judgment than You.’ That is completely bull. God is a perfect and just God. I’m a fallen human person and cannot give out a just judgment.
Because my thoughts and heart isn’t fully pure like God wants, I often find myself thinking about what God has done in my life in the five years prior when I was in college. He decided to save me. I am one of His elect children. He’s been doing a glorious act of growing me spiritually to becoming the man He wants me to become. As a vendor, I realized more on how much I truly need God and how great His grace truly is. God will bring people through seasons of trials and I feel like working at Coke was a trial on looking upon Him instead of other people. We need to turn to Him first and foremost and give Him everything before we turn to others for anything. As Tullian Tchividjian says, “Jesus + Nothing = Everything” and “Everything – Jesus =Nothing.”
 Tullian’s blog can be found at http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tullian/ and his church website can be found at http://www.crpc.org/ (both found at Wednesday, January 18th, 2012). Tullian Tchividjian is Pastor Billy Graham’s grandson. As a author’s side note: Tullian got his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy – just like me!
 “Jesus + Nothing = Everything” Colossians sermon series can be found at http://www.crpc.org/sermons–media/series/colossians (as of Wednesday, January 18th, 2012).
 Tullian defines legalism as a behavior from belief (Colossians 2:16-17 & Colossians 2:20-21) and legalism puts the performance on our shoulders when Christianity puts the performance on Christ’s shoulders. Christianity states that we can’t do anything apart from Christ and we’re judged upon what Jesus Christ did because there’s nothing we can do to get us into what God demands of us.
 Mark 7:14-23