Recently, while visiting our daughter in Athens, I sat on her sofa for just a few hours as she watched required training videos before starting her new job at Chick-fil-A. I was in absolute awe over the professionally done videos–the quality of training included and the principles that were driven home……I should have expected nothing less than the Highest of quality after knowing and experiencing what I know of Chick-fil-A and its founder, Truett Cathy.
One thing that made us LOL was Mr. Cathy speaking to an audience. He was at least 90 years old in the video and he said, “The only thing I had to play with growing up was a loose tooth, and it wasn’t even mine. It was my brother’s!” He was so funny and made us laugh and cry as he spoke of his mother’s death and how she instilled a work ethic in the kids. His mother was the first one up every morning, adding in “very early,” and the last one to go to bed at night. His life history coupled with his faith and passion has literally affected millions, including me after I watched just two of the many hours of videos Collins was required to watch.
I am sure if you asked Collins a year ago what her life would look like right now, she would have never fathomed where she is right now. Beth Moore states in her book, “Get out of the Pit,” that in life, you can fall in a pit by accident, jump in a pit, or get pushed in a pit. NO matter how you get into a pit, God’s plan is not for you to stay there! A little over 10 months ago, Collins was “PUSHED in a pit”. It has been a long climb out, sometimes sliding backwards from the “slime” that rests on the rocks of the pit you are trying to climb out. God is so faithful. He truly desires what is best for us. We don’t always know or understand His hand or what He allows, but we can always trust God’s heart. I truly believe sometimes when the bad happens to us, especially when it seems to be for NO reason, if we truly put our eyes on God and not man, then we eventually see Genesis 50:20 lived out, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done……”
I love the verse found in Psalms 37:23, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him.” This is a verse we have clung to and believed as we have prayed and encouraged Collins to take the last 10 months and “delight in the Lord” and trust HIm with the plans for her life. We have also pointed to Proverbs 20:24, “A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way.”
We have all been praying for about six months for a positive people group that she could submerge herself in beyond just her small group at her church in Athens. Due to circumstances beyond her control, Collins stepped away from golf for a season, and she has stepped away from sorority. All these changes have led her to seeking a job and God led her to Chick-fil-A. The interview process was rigorous and, to secure the job, there had to be a willingness on Collins’ part to commit to work on game days. After watching two of the videos, she turned to me and talked extensively about the training, the emphasis on kindness, service and community that Chick-fil-A wanted customers to experience. She was told it started with how The TEAM of workers at Chick fil-A treated each other.
Yes, Chick-fil-A is an exceptional company that goes to extremes to create a positive, encouraging environment where employees are embraced as family and given the opportunity to grow as people and that extends all the way to the consumer. The general manager told her as he hired her, “Chick fil-A loves love. If we are love, it is “contagious” and it easily flows to our customers.” Collins stated that she had never felt so loved, accepted and cherished since she moved away from home to go to college.
Success always leaves clues. A positive environment that focuses on the importance of the relationship and seeking to build an individual is dynamic. An atmosphere that places a high value on each individual, valuing their God-given personality, strengths and weaknesses, and that seeks the “greater good” of the individual, always reflects in the “growth of the group” and usually produces overall success. Chick-fil-A has achieved this as well as anyone in corporate America and they have a track record that backs it up. The numbers show it! We can all learn from Chick-fil-A!
Collins has already been so POSITIVELY influenced, encouraged, and motivated before ever working the first hour! Funny how she thought she would find this in her college sport but God had a very different plan and a very different place and people for her to find the experience for which she has longed. The verse found in Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails,” continues to be oh so prophetic in our/her life!
In closing, let me encourage you to “delight in the Lord.” It is there you will find FIRM, STEADY STEPS AND A LIGHTED PATH FOR YOUR LIFE……..ALLOW GOD TO BE THE HEADLIGHTS………TO LIGHT THE WAY…..AND OH, BY THE WAY,…….EAT MORE CHICKEN!