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Rest as a sermon for the ambitious

Series: Chick-fil-A and the Call to Create
Devotional: 4 of 4
Published: March 30, 2020

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. (Deuteronomy 8:17-18)

As we’ve seen over the past three weeks, viewing our career as a calling from God and working for His agenda rather than our own can have a dramatic impact on the way we do our work. The faith of Chick-fil-A’s founder, Truett Cathy, has influenced the company in countless ways, some of them more subtle than others. But on this final entry of this devotional series, we’ll take a closer look at Chick-fil-A’s most overt expression of faith: the fact that since the company’s founding in 1946, they have controversially remained closed on Sundays.

Like most great entrepreneurs, Truett Cathy worked tirelessly to start up Chick-fil-A. At the beginning, the restaurant was open twenty-four hours a day, six days a week. As Cathy explained, “[My brother] and I were working seventy-two-hour weeks—or longer. Once I worked thirty-six hours at a stretch, eating meals between flipping eggs and cutting meat.”

Cathy and his brother were undoubtedly “working heartily” (Colossians 3:23). In the words of startup culture today, they were “hustling” hard. But Cathy understood that while Christians are commanded to work hard, we are also called to trust in God, as He is the one who “gives [us] the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18). But how do we demonstrate to ourselves and to the world that we are trusting in God rather than ourselves to provide? One way is through regular rest.

Even amidst the frenetic upstart of Chick-fil-A, Cathy closed up shop every single Sunday. Why? On the one hand, Cathy desperately needed the break. After working a seventy-two-hour week, “Sundays became my salvation,” he said. But there’s another reason Cathy decided to close his stores on Sundays. “The answer lies in loyalty,” he said. “Closing our business on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, is our way of honoring God and showing our loyalty to Him.”

As we’ve been exploring over the past four weeks, our work will only be a calling if we are loyal to the agenda of our Caller above all else. As Chick-fil-A demonstrates, this impacts our high standards of excellence, how we love people in the workplace and make disciples, and even how we rest.

By taking time to rest from the hustle of our work, we, like Cathy, can preach a powerful sermon to ourselves and to the world that says, “Christ is enough for me.” While we will work hard at our chosen endeavors, we are free from the world’s relentless demands for more hustle, more profit, and more striving, for we work for the sake of a good Caller who has invited us to rest in His provisions of grace.

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