Life Without Diet Coke

If you had to spend the rest of your life on a desert island what three items would you take with you? It’s one of those questions we have all been asked at least once in our lives. And the answers often say a lot about who we are and where we are at in our lives.

The question popped into my head the other day and my subconscious went into overdrive. Do wives and children count as one item? And if not which one of my three kids get the heave ho. Because obviously Fionnuala is a shoe-in. Obviously….

What about books? I am an avid reader and couldn’t survive without more than three books? Which books? What if I brought my Kindle Fire? Then I could have hundreds of books. Happy Days! But hang on. Is there wifi on the island? And for that matter electricity?? This is more difficult than I first thought. Aaaaaaaarrrrggghhhhh!

My Diet Coke addiction raises other issues. I drink a ridiculous amount of the stuff. More than I should I know. It started at university when I got hooked on it in order to get me through endless nights of panicked cramming. And my love affair with it has blossomed from there.

I can’t manage a day without it. I have tried. And failed miserably. Let’s just say it would end up like that scene in ‘Trainspotting’ involving Ewan McGregor and the three buckets. It’s one of my first actions in the morning, just like a nicotine addict reaching for a cigarette from their bedside table. 

My office desk is cluttered with empty tins. I know where to go in Belfast for the best deals and have been known to boycott stores when their offers end. I prefer the taste of tinned Diet Coke to bottled Diet Coke. Is that even possible? And don’t get me started on Diet Pepsi. It would be like offering methadrone to a heroin addict.

So that’s that sorted tben. My family (included as one item), my Kindle Fire (if wifi and electricity are included in the equation) and an unlimited supply of Diet Coke. Can a fridge be thrown in as well he asked hopefully?

Your three items will no doubt be different. But they all have one thing in common. They are items that we can’t live without; or at least think we can’t live without.

So what about God? Where does he fit in? Can we live without him? It pains me to say that whereas I can’t go a day without Diet Coke, I have more than once gone days (weeks he cringed) without picking up my Bible or praying. And as for living my life like Jesus as opposed to like selfish, sinful Stephen. Er…….

We fill our lives with earthly junk. Gorge ourselves on earthly needs. Bow down to false idols every day. And amidst all this noise and clutter God is often pushed to the back of the queue. But at the end of the day it’s all meaningless. 

The only person who can fill a God sized hole is God. And the beauty of being a Christian is that we believe he resides within us in the form of the Holy Spirit. And when it comes to talking to him you don’t need wifi or phone signals. He has given us a more effective communication tool. It’s called prayer. 

Now I’m off to post this blog and celebrate with a Diet Coke. I’m sure God won’t mind….

Ecclesiastes 1:14 – I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

What items would be on your Desert Island list?

What is your secret (or not so secret) addiction?

When did you last talk to God?

31 thoughts on “Life Without Diet Coke

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  1. Enjoyable post, Stephen! My three items to bring to a desert island? My Bible of course. Next, a photo of my family since I am limited to “items.” The last one would have to be a deluxe fishing rod, fully equipped. Uh-oh. I might have to trade in the family photo for a year’s supply of matches. I last talked to the Lord this AM of course.

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  2. Yes!!! I love all carbonated soda beverages. My teeth do not thank me though. 😦 So I’ve had a good bit of dental work. But yes! More and more studies keep coming out about soda, but the thing is Coke is delicious and they know it. 😉

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  3. Well, my addictions are like the drug addiction cycle, they change with the times. I can be addicted to Pepsi for 2 months, then switch up to Fanta for 3 months, then Sprite for 2 weeks and so on.

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  4. Sometimes I feel like creating a Coca-Colics Anonymous at times😂

    It’s great to know there’s always a way out. But really, addiction sucks. Just today, I met an ASTHMATIC SMOKER! A LIVING, BREATHING(no pun intended) SMOKER WHO SUFFERS FROM ASTHMA! He’s currently in the hospital, in critical condition and I’m unsure if he’ll live. But if he does, he’ll probably go back to smoking and he won’t stop until his lungs finally tap out😩

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  5. Would have to have my Bible for sure, I’d sure miss my coffee without sugar and cream. Would really need my music,for I love to sing praises and I pray daily, and not often enough.

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  6. I’ve just read through a few of your posts, and I could really relate to this one. It’s hard to imagine that most people would forgo the option to take something wonderful and nourishing or fulfilling to the desert island, for a lifetime supply of the ‘thing’ they are addicted to…. If you asked me 7 months ago I would have included red wine in my top 3 most likely.
    I like your style and the questions you ask in your blogs – and I’m interested in learning more about God. I grew up going to a United Church, but never felt a connection with faith, and didn’t feel spiritual. I’ve always been interested in the concept of religion however – in University I studied religion from social anthropology perspective. The idea of energy, consciousness and a source of power within all of us that connects us all… makes a lot of sense to me.
    Recently I read “Nine Essential Things I’ve Learned About Life” by Harold S. Kushner – a great book, heart-warming. It inspired me to keep learning more.
    Thanks for your posts! You are a lovely writer, and I enjoy the analogies.
    Karyn

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    1. Thank you Karyn that’s great feedback and has really encouraged me. Four years ago beer would have been on my list. But I stopped drinking and started running three years ago. I’ve only been a Christian for four years so I’m always learning. Thank you for taking the time to read the posts and stay in touch. Please ask any questions you want and we will do our best to answer them – Stephen

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  7. Trying to keep God as a central focus is something I’ve started really working at. I realized that I’m really not very good at it, but practicing something consciously tends to form habits, and I’m going on with that hope.

    As to Diet Coke, I hear you. I am a bonafide Diet Coke addict. I, too, prefer it in cans to bottles. The carbonation level is slightly different, and the canned/tinned Cokes are colder than the Cokes in bottles. You are not alone there. One thing I missed dreadfully when I lived over on your side of the Atlantic (in Eire) was what we Americans call a soda fountain. I saw them in fast food restaurants, but we have them here in every petrol station and convenience store from coast to coast. What I love more than a canned Diet Coke is a FOUNTAIN Diet Coke. If you’re ever here in the US for any reason…make sure you get one.

    God bless. I love seeing your thoughts about things here.

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      1. Well, it’s really just a soda machine as opposed to an open fountain, but in the 1950’s, the shops where you could get a carbonated fizzy drink were called soda fountains.

        If you’ve ever had a Diet Coke over ice in a cup from a fast food place, that’s what a fountain soda is. But they are the BEST.

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  8. My husband was attached to the embassy in Dublin, so we lived in D4 there on Ailesbury Grove. We’ve been sent many places since then (2010-2012), but we’re in Southern California now, between San Diego and Los Angeles on the coast. Seems we always end up living on a coast somewhere. Ha ha

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    1. Wow cool. We have talked about emigrating to America many times. My wife loves New York and I am a Washington Redskins fan. Dublin is a great city. My wife has relatives there and I’m running the Dublin Marathon in October.

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      1. We miss Dublin more than we miss any other foreign post. I loved Ireland so very much, and we loved the people we met and befriended there. Oh, to be wealthy so that I could travel back and forth whenever I liked! But we can’t have everything. I just feel very fortunate to have been able to live there for a time.

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  9. I’ve been off Diet Coke for over a month. I miss it so much lol but the aspartame really did effect inflammation in my body. I’ve traded it for Coke life. It has truvia and real cane sugar. It helps me when I want a Diet Coke. For now anyway lol so please drink one for me. Or a Coke Zero. Those are great too lol

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