Close One Shop

Close One Shop (1,144)

May 12th, 2011

It often tickles me to see a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Minnesota. I suppose I’d just flat-out have a giggle fest over viewing one in China. How did some guy named Harlan Sanders put together an idea for Southern fried chicken—and end up making it applicable to the entire world?

Well, it was a two-step process—I know that. (1) Come up with something good, and (2) make sure it’s equally good wherever it’s served.

You know what I mean. If you go to a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kentucky or in Minnesota, you get the very same herbs and spices, biscuits and gravy, and juicy (which is really greasy) bird. It’s quality control. Because if you went to a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Minnesota and it tasted different than one in Kentucky? You’re out of business. Yes, they’d have to close that store down for poor representation and inadequate quality.

Kind of makes you wonder why we think we can get by with it. Because we do think we can have two different stores in our lives, producing two separate results. We maintain a secret life and a public life. We have a life which is true and factual—but we wouldn’t necessarily want everybody to know about it. Then we have a franchise we’ve opened up somewhere across town which is our public face, which we carefully and nervously allow people to come in and peruse.

Don’t we know this can’t work? We have to be aware that eventually somebody is going to walk into our other store and say, “Hey! Wait a minute! This isn’t like you.” We must know we’re going to get caught in our little deceptions about ourselves and we certainly must be aware that quality is being jeopardized by having two different stores making two very different products.

So I think the secret to life is closing down one of these stores. We have to find out what we really want to be and produce—and when we come short of that we have to be willing to stand up and say, “Please pay no attention to that last batch. It was just crap. Sorry about that. I just wanted to let you know that I knew it was crap so you don’t have to point it out to me.” But when we spend all of our time trying to maintain two different lifestyles, ideas or ways of thinking, we’re just bound to eventually get caught.

Getting caught is the opposite of repenting. Repenting is coming to yourself and changing things before other people get whiff of it.

No, we have to close down one store by preparing to do three things:

1. Be weak. I think most people fail and eventually destroy themselves because they’re afraid to admit weakness—which would actually grant them the strength of character to maintain their position of power.

2. Don’t be afraid. I don’t know what we’re afraid of, but it is some mixture of the wrath of God and the disapproval of others, with an emphasis on the latter. For after all, the wrath of God will not come into play until the end of times, and a frown from a loved one is in our face right now. If we would admit our frailties before they were exposed, we all would be delightfully surprised at how many people share our shortcomings.

3. Be prepared to change. Change does not mean that we stop making mistakes or cease to be erred. Change literally means that we stop covering them up. No one expects you to immediately cease being flawed. What we do expect of each other is a removal of deceit about the infraction.

You have to close up a store somewhere. Hypocrisy is the only sin that human beings will never forgive. You can even kill their dog, and as long as you are the first one to admit to it, time will allow for healing. But if you lie and cheat or try to bury it in the back yard, people will never forget—nor will they ever trust you again.

Kentucky Fried Chicken can’t have a store that isn’t making finger-lickin’ good stuff. And you can’t have a franchise of yourself open up somewhere that is in complete contradiction to your proposed project.

Choose. But in the long run, you will need to close up a store. And when you do, you will get the best result that exists in life: to be clean.

Published in: on May 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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