I love eating chicken. Cravings come and go but I can always eat chicken. BBQ chicken, grilled chicken, chicken fingers, chicken sandwiches, fried chicken—did I mention I like chicken?! Perhaps you have seen the advertising blitz by a famous chicken restaurant, appearing on commercials and billboards. One such ad shows cows parachuting onto a football field during a game. The cows carry with them flyers that read “Eat mor chick’n.” Subtly undermining hamburger places around the U.S., Chick-Fil-A has become a fast-food phenomenon. The man who revolutionized the fast-food chicken industry is Truett Cathy. Cathy changed everything with two words: “Closed Sundays.”
One of my students works for Chick-Fil-A, the fast-food place you will not find open on Sunday. Considering the importance of taking one day off a week, I asked an owner of a Chick-Fil-A franchise what having Sundays off did for his workers. You might imagine his response—workers love it. But then I asked something I had wondered for some time: what does having Sundays off mean for your machinery? The owner of the Chick-Fil-A franchise exploded with enthusiasm. [Quote] “My fryers last 4 times longer than those other places! My overhead is way down; savings on machinery is one big reason.” [End Quote] It seems taking a day off is even good for machines.
Resting one day a week is a principle embedded within God’s creation, the third of God’s blessings in Genesis. According to the book of Genesis, the Sabbath was made for human benefit. Taking a Sabbath rest sets a rhythm, pattern, refrain, or cadence for the week. Monday through Saturday are given importance because of Sunday. Sunday allows every other day to operate better. In ancient times it was believed that leisure was only for the wealthy and ruling classes, never for anyone else. The idea of a day of rest did not exist outside the Jewish culture. In fact, the Greeks thought the Jews were lazy for taking the day “off”! In Jewish Scripture, a Sabbath or seventh day was a holy-day, a holiday, a set-apart day. The Sabbath restores. The Sabbath gives renewed energy for work. The Sabbath-rest principle inspired Truett Cathy to declare Chick-Fil-A to be “Closed Sundays.”
The idea of rest has fallen on hard times in Western culture obsessed with getting ahead. “24-7-365” are numbers that suggest Americans do not stop. “Open 24 Hours” is accepted practice. But when a day of rest is given, Chick-Fil-A has proven the bottom-line of business becomes top-of-the-line. So now, every time I pass a Chick-Fil-A, I smile. The old concept of “Closed Sundays” opens the rest of the week to new meaning.
For Moody Radio, this is Dr. Mark Eckel, personally seeking truth wherever it’s found.
To be broadcast by Moody Radio, 30 January 2012