Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. – Acts 9:1-4, 17-19
Most people are familiar with Fed Ex; a global courier company based out of Memphis, Tennessee. Since it was founded under the name Federal Express in 1973, their company’s mission has been to provide customers a faster way of shipping items around the world. As a child, I remember seeing some of their first television ads suggesting that theirs was the courier to use, “when it absolutely, positively, has to get there overnight.” Back then their logo looked a little something like this…
As time moved on many people became too busy to pronounce whole words. Federal Express decided to streamline their name and their brand by becoming known as Fed Ex. This shorter, faster name came with this new logo…
Because your logo represents your brand image, many companies want to develop a logo which tells their company’s story. Fed Ex does this very effectively, albeit subtly. Upon first glance, the logo just says, FED EX. But look past the letters at the white space between the E and the X and you will see an arrow. This arrow tells you about their company; forward moving, fast, on the go. Now some of you might see this and think that’s just a coincidence – something that someone with too much time on their hands figured out and posted on their Facebook account. Now that all may be true, but the arrow in the logo is in fact is an intentional design by the company, as proven in this photo of a FED EX truck from the Middle East.
So why am I offering you this lesson in marketing and advertising? It’s to make a simple point. Maybe you already knew about the arrow embedded in their logo. Maybe this was the first time you ever noticed it. But either way, once you’ve identified it, that blank space becomes the central focus of the logo, making it more prominent than the letters that produce it. Now that you’ve seen it, you will never NOT see it again.
Thinking about all of this draws me to some obvious comparisons to Christians living in our world today. Our world is filled with people who look at Christianity; the existence of God, the resurrection of Christ, and the faith that guide the lives of believers as lunacy. “Why would anyone with half an ounce of brains in their head believe in silly stories told to children and simpletons to explain what science can now theoretically prove?” And while this attitude may frustrate and discourage believers, the one thing we should not be is surprised by it. Paul makes it plain in 1 Corinthians 1:18 when he says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” And when you think about the story of Paul’s conversion as he travelled to Damascus in pursuit of Christians, it makes sense that he more than anyone would understand the idea that those who don’t see it, won’t see it. What we must do is trust that God is leading us to stand up under the attacks of a world that is less tolerant and accepting of Christians and continue to speak boldly the truths we know so that God may use our words to open the eyes of those to whom we have been called to help.
But there is another connection I see with the logo. When you first noticed the arrow in the logo, you were probably surprised that you had never seen it before. And since this logo was first unveiled back in 1993, that might make you feel a bit silly at how transparent it has been for so many years. Sadly, the same can be said about many Christians today. How many of us identify ourselves as Christian but keep our faith as subtle and hidden as the FED EX arrow? This describes many people who grew up in the church, have always been connected with the body of Christ, but are simply going through the motions for the sake of tradition without allowing the Holy Spirit to work inside of them. For these people we pray that they will open their hearts and their lives to the Lord so that He would be made obvious in everything they do – at work, at home, with family, with friends, and everywhere in between.
May God strengthen and preserve us all to wear our faith in such a way that others will never NOT see it ever again.