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Chick-fil-A & Me

randomlychad  —  July 28, 2012 — 5 Comments

Over twenty-one years ago, my wife and I married. Then, as now, the country was in a recession. But I had a good job working at a bank.

Until, three months after we were married, I didn’t.

This came immediately following a President’s Day weekend trip to visit my dad in California. For three weeks, I looked for work, and found nothing.

But then Chick-fil-A was there for me. The income may not have been at quite the same level as my previous job, but it was income. I of course continued to look for other work while employed there, and eventually added a second job at a portrait studio. Which came about because the manager of the studio had seen me at Chick-fil-A, sampling chicken.

Yes, I was the “chicken hawk,” standing in front of a mall location, enticing passersby with delicious golden fried goodness. It may not have been my dream job, but I embraced it. Having had some training in television commercial acting, I added some theatricality to it, made it a performance. (Which as a shy introvert I had to do–I had to make it a role, rather than see it as me standing out there passing out chicken).

Among the most fun things I declaimed:

“You deserve a break today–so eat at Chick-fil-A!”

My boss of course quickly put the kibosh on that, saying that he’d rather not be sued. 😉

Among the more interesting things I heard from customers enjoying samples:

“Almost as good as eating p***y.” I wish I was making that up, but it happened. Who says something like that to a complete stranger?

But I digress.

I eventually left portrait photography–where I was decent at taking pictures, but abysmal at selling them–and found another job, while continuing to work for Chick-fil-A in the evenings.

In the fullness of time, I moved on from all things chicken, finally after almost two years of trying, when I landed a full time job with another company. But when things were tight for my wife and I, and because I’d left on good terms, Chick-fil-A took me back.

And you know what? Despite the bifurcated nature of my service, I qualified for their college scholarship!

When they say Chick-fil-A cares, they mean it! They took care of me, and my family, in a time when we really needed it, and will always have a soft spot in my heart because of it.

How about you? Do you eat at Chick-fil-A? How have your experiences been?

PS: With regards to the recent kerfuffle, all I can say is, having worked there, knowing something of the hearts of the people who run the organization, I’m certain there was no malicious intent. Mr. Cathy’s convictions are borne out of a lifelong, deeply held faith. If he disagrees on the definition of marriage, he does so respectfully, with nothing but love for those on the other side of this cultural divide.

My take is this: his views are his own, and he is entitled to them. Just as others are entitled to their’s. My experience while working there was that, while it was a business started and run by Christians, it was nevertheless a business. Although we were indeed closed on Sundays, if we were going to have a staff meeting, it would be on a Sunday. Because that was the only day when all of us were available to meet.

Drawing Apart?

randomlychad  —  May 16, 2012 — 8 Comments

So this past Sunday was Mother’s Day in the ol’ US-of-A. Hooray! My mom’s a hardworking lady, you know? In fact, she sometimes worked two jobs just to keep my brother and I in the home we grew up in (after our folks divorced). As regards that, it seems that from her forebears, she inherited the Protestant work ethic–but not their Protestantism. And it seems that I “inherited” the Protestantism–without the work ethic (ask my wife. Or don’t. Better not, ok?).

Somehow, faith skipped a generation, or something.

Ok, so I know that folks aren’t born “Christian” in the same way they’re born Caucasian, African American, Indian, Chinese, etc. Those are racial, ethnic, and/or national identities.

And it seems “Christian” as an identity is losing some of its steam these days. What I mean is that it seems that faith once delivered to the saints, like my mom, is all Martha, and no Mary. We’re all busy, busy, busy for the Lord–battling injustices, combating social ills, confronting sin, but there is precious little drawing apart, sitting at His feet.

Seeking His face.

Or so it seems to me.

Because we’re more about causes, than we are Christ. We’re known more for what we’re against, than Who–or Whom–we’re for: Jesus.

There is also precious little civility in our discourse. We want–we need–to be heard. One need go no farther than the “nearest” chat room to see this is so. Or maybe visit a blog, or two. 😉

'#XKCD: Duty Calls: Someone is WRONG on the Internet:' photo (c) 2011, Ben Lucier - license: are so apt to go off like guns half-cocked when our sacred cows are skewered. Speak out against gay marriage–get dogpiled. Speak out in favor of gay marriage–get dogpiled. Heck, speak out in favor of the Twilight books. On second thought–don’t do that, or you’re horribly broken. (See what I did there?) Speak out in favor of, or against, just about anything, and there is bound to be a vehement, opposing opinion from someone.

What did Jesus say? “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42, ESV).

Somehow, someway, in our information age, we’re missing “the good portion,” “the better part.” What part is that?

It’s resting in Him. Sitting at his feet. But the $64,000 question these days is: how do we do that? I don’t know what it looks like for you, but for me it means:

1) Making time to pray.

2) Getting into the Word. And sometimes, ironically, away from blogs.

3) Turning off my tech. I’m really bad about this–my phone is almost literally always in my hand.

4) Taking a moment to breathe before replying. Or refraining altogether from a reply.

5) Reading a good book.

6) Writing. I often find my best “prayers” spill forth from fingers, rather than my lips.

How about you? How do you draw apart from the “noise?”