Rachel Brady writes about a man and a company I have deep respect for, Truett Cathy and Chick-fil-a:
Nearly every Sunday, I subconsciously sabotage myself into the misery of an unsatisfied craving for Chick-fil-a.
Since the dine-in Chick-fil-a opened on Patteson Drive last year, I’ve actually shown up in the empty parking lot. Twice. But I should have known better. Anyone who knows of the fast-food chain and its chickeny goodness also knows of its affiliation with the Christian faith.
Specifically, the corporation’s mission statement pledges to ”glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-a.”
Founder S. Truett Cathy is a devout Southern Baptist, and so in accordance with his beliefs and the company’s mission statement, all Chick-fil-a locations are closed on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath. Monday through Saturday, those who dine in get an earful of God’s glory, as the restaurant always has Christian-themed pop-sounding music wafting on the breeze alongside the alluring smells of chicken and waffle fries.
Normally, when aspects of the Christian faith — or any religion — are thrust into my life without invitation, I get a little bit cranky.
I’m old enough and smart enough now that if I wanted to be converted to your religion, I’d have figured it out by now. So when a Jehovah’s witness shows up on my doorstep, I politely turn down the offers for conversation/conversion. And when an old guy in a suit jacket tries to hand me a tiny Bible, I politely decline. All the while, I’m miffed that someone out there thinks they know just exactly ”what’s missing” in my life.
Somehow, though, Chick-fil-a has gotten it right. No one from the corporation is beating down any doors for converts, and they don’t distribute printed materials about faith or damnation while you eat.
What they will actually do while you eat, though, is refill your drink, dump your tray or even just carry on a polite conversation.
The people of Chick-fil-a have taken an essential part of Christianity — the Golden Rule of treating others as you would like to be treated — and they’ve made it their mantra. And they’re not preachy or pushy; they’re just polite.
It’s refreshing to see people who are most happy to display their religion by example rather than through radical, alienating evangelism.
Most people don’t want to be approached by strangers about how they may be living their lives in sin.
Most people don’t feel like divulging personal secrets and entrusting their spiritual lives to people they’ve never even met. Most of us just need to be permitted to live our lives and learn our own lessons. And some of us, along the way, want to eat some chicken.
So Chick-fil-a is, all-around, the purveyor of good news that all Christians should be. If you want a tasty chicken sandwich, there’s no need to worry about choking down a lesson on moral values with it. Chick-fil-a exhibits its Christian values with its excellent service, and that’s that.
The other things — the ”no business on Sunday” rule, the music and the occasional Veggie Tales kid’s meal toy — are mere peripherals which have no real effect on any consumer. The Christianity is offered, though unspoken, and there are no hard feelings if you leave it rather than take it.
If you’ve never experienced the service at Chick-fil-a, I urge you to do so. You’ll find that everything you ask for is someone’s pleasure to provide to you. The entire experience is simply delicious.
Here, have some chicken. Fries? My pleasure. Dipping sauce? Of course. How about some salvation through Jesus Christ? No? All right, well, have a nice day.
And you’re on your way.
So when Sunday rolls around and I’m jonesin’ for some chicken strips and waffle fries, I do my best to shrug the craving off. Each time I realize my Sunday craving just isn’t meant to be satiated, I gain a little respect for the place, despite my empty stomach.