I love to go to Starbucks. I particularly enjoy my gold card by which I enjoy free refills of my Trenta-sized (what a fantastic idea!) iced tea. Beside my delight in the all-too-soon consumed beverage there, I am fascinated by a principle I observe behind their counters. And, I resolve to not live by it.
Each person behind the counter at Starbucks has an apron. Some are green, some are black – I don’t know what that means, if it’s like the shirts on Star Trek or what – but they all wear aprons. And when those people, most of whom I have never met and never actually see in the real world, wear those aprons – they are the most fantastic people in the world.
I can walk up and be totally confused and stare at a menu and they happily ask how they might help. If I’m not ready, no big deal! Just let them know. When I order (or my wife or her sister order) some crazy drink that takes up a whole sentence to describe (including verbs, adjectives and abbreviations) they smile happily as if to welcome such nonsense – like they were waiting for my odd order.
Even better, when I purchase the afore mentioned Trenta-sized (what a great idea!) iced tea, and use my phone to scan the payment, they hand me a delicious cup of nirvana that I promptly drink faster than that Nesquik Bunny. Then, with haste, I return to the counter and present my empty cup to an aproned person who quite happily refills my tea. I can do this as long as I am in the store. It nearly justifies the price I paid for boiled leaves and water. What marvelous persons inside those aprons.
But, what do you think would happen if I shoved my cup toward one of those persons after they removed their aprons? Methinks they might possibly suggest where else I might shove my cup. Why? Because, it is just an apron. The apron connotes an external, temporary, certain-times-only role. And while I respect that principle at Starbucks, I reject it for my Christianity.
In Ephesians 4:1, Paul urges his audience to “walk” worthy of the calling they have received. It is significant that he uses the word “walk.” It denotes our whole manner of life: everything we are, everywhere we go, all that we say and do. Paul is not talking about certain or special times; he is talking about all the time. We are to practice, to express the grace we have received with every decision and detail of our lives. We are to walk like we really believe all that God has done in and for us in Christ – to live like we believe it’s true. We can be consistently confident in our identity, purpose, and anointing in Christ. And we can demonstrate this calling one step at a time, with every step we take. Because, thankfully, it’s not just an apron.
Cheers! I’m off to enjoy some tea. And, thanks for reading.