“Ordinary Lives”

I suppose as one gets older he begins to look back on events in his life that God has used to mold him into the man that he has come to be. One of those times in my life was the summer after my senior year in high school when I worked for the Hilliards, who operated the Dr. Pepper Bottling Company in Orange, Texas. It was the first “real” job that I had other than mowing grass as a boy, working in my brother-in-law’s rice field in high school, and delivering flowers for Arthur Black’s flower shop.

My first few days on the job were spent keeping the conveyer belt of the bottle washer full of empty glass bottles so that we could bottle thousands of bottles of Dr. Pepper, Triple XXX Root Beer, and Diet Dr. Pepper. When I didn’t quit after experiencing that torture, I was chosen to be a “helper” on the delivery trucks. It was there where I learned many lessons of life that I have carried with me to this day (not to mention many new vocabulary words that I have chosen not to make a part of my everyday life). One of the drivers seemed to make it his mission to make my life as miserable as possible. He was as vile as one could imagine and rather lazy which meant that I had to do most of the work while he spent time “shooting the bull” with the store owners as we made our deliveries.

However, one of the other drivers will always have a special place in my heart. His name was Lewis Norris. He was a humble man who loved the Lord very much. Although our theology didn’t agree completely (He went to the Church of the Nazarene) we had many discussions about what it meant to live the Christian life in a fallen world. He lived what he believed, “worked hard for his money,” trusted in the Holy Scriptures, and, witnessed, without being obnoxious, to “the hope that [was] in [him]” through Christ. I am grateful to have known him, and am sorry that I did not let him know how much his faithful life meant to me as a young Christian.

I am sure that there are many Lewis Norrises out there in the world doing the “ordinary things” that are quietly used by God to sanctify the lives of those with whom they come in contact; even the pimply faced 18 year olds who ride the Dr. Pepper trucks with them.

Thank you, Lewis, for your “ordinary” life. I look forward to thanking you in person in the “new heavens and the new earth” some day.

Dr. Pepper Bottling Company in Orange, Texas

Dr. Pepper Bottling Company in Orange, Texas


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