Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Mrs. Winner's chicken, filthy but true.

Mrs. Winner’s chicken, filthy but true.

My brother Will recently sent me a photo of a sign he saw in front of the Mrs. Winner’s Chicken restaurant near his house in Nashville. Here is what it said:

“Trans Fat Chicken is Here.”

I love that, honestly, that’s like marketing poetry. Kentucky Fried Chicken recently launched this massive campaign about how their food is now trans fat free. And in response, Mrs. Winner’s who is like the skanky cousin of KFC, started their own campaign.

We’ve got trans fat chicken. We’re all about trans fat chicken. In fact, you can order extra trans fat if you want. (I made up that last one.)

The thing I like about that sign is that it’s honest. In addition to being incredibly in touch with their target audience, Mrs. Winner’s cut right to the chase. If you eat our chicken, you’re going to eat some trans fat. The end. It’s a short, greasy story.

And it got me thinking, what if all of life’s temptations were that clear? What if every ill decision we faced screamed that loudly? When you pick up a date, her t-shirt said “my dad never loved me enough so I’m really needy and clingy.” When you shopped for a car the windshield said “I was involved in a horrible accident so the dealer is not going to let you test drive me on the highway because I’ll fall apart.” At a job interview, your potential boss had a sign on his door that read, “Belittling people is kind of my favorite thing to do. I can’t wait to make you feel smaller.”

That would be wonderful. I mean without even bringing God into the conversation, you have to admit, you would make better decisions if life’s woes broadcast themselves like that. You’d never get a tattoo of the Tasmanian Devil in a tuxedo with a yellow rose in its mouth because the tattoo artist would tell you how much you’d hate it about 15 minutes after it was done. Life would be beautiful.

But what if that was possible? What if whenever you stood at a crossroads in life, the decisions were that simple? The steps that obvious? The risk that neon? I think they can be and this is the part where I bring God back into the conversation.

There’s a scene I love in 1 Samuel 23 that I continue to write about. Basically David has just saved the city of Keilah from the Philistines and gets word that Saul is on his way to kill him. Here’s what happened:

David: “Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard?The Lord: “He will.”David: “Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?”The LORD said, “They will.”

With that, David grabbed his 600 men and took off. The thing I love about that story is that David only got four words. He moved 600 men off the truth of four simple words. There was no flowery promise from God. No long drawn out monologue with lightning and smoke and a white beard that kind of floats in the wind. Just four words. “Trans Fat Chicken is Here” is a longer statement than David got, but that’s all he needed.

I think sometimes God communicates in fortune cookie length messages but we’re so focused on getting long messages that we discount them. We think the short statements don’t count. We think the warning sign can’t be as simple as the one outside Mrs. Winner’s.

But maybe they are. Maybe it’s easier than we’ve made it. Maybe God has a handful of words for you today. And it will be as short and as powerful as “Trans Fat Chicken is Here.”

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