Pass the Chicken, Please

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Some of the greatest success stories in life are about people who initially encountered huge challenges, but persisted to overcome those challenges. They were not easily detained from the mission in front of them. Oftentimes, against unbelievable odds, they persisted and were victorious.

In 1955, there was a 65-year-old man named Harlan. He didn’t have enough money for his retirement. All he had was a $105 monthly pension check, an old Cadillac Roadster, and a recipe for chicken.

His mission was to share his chicken recipe with a lot of people. At first his plan was to sell the chicken recipe to restaurant owners who would give him a residual of 5 cents per chicken. The first restaurant owner he went to turned him down. So did the second and third. In fact the first 1,000 calls Harlan made ended in rejection.

Harlan continued to try to sell his product. He slept in his car to save money as he traveled across the United States. Finally, restaurant owner # 1,009 that he visited said that he would do it. That was the beginning. Two years later he still only had five restaurants.

Harlan Sanders – we know him as Colonel Sanders – persisted in his effort to sell his product. He knew that someday his idea would catch on.

You know the rest of the story. By 1963, the Colonel had 600 restaurants across the country. Most everybody reading this article has eaten a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken (with 11 herbs and spices). He did sell out in 1964 to future Kentucky Governor John Brown. He spent the rest of his life representing and promoting KFC.

Early in his life the Colonel had failed in a couple of other businesses. He had a gas station in the 30’s and a restaurant in the 40’s. He gave up on them. But he learned a lesson – don’t give up. At age 65 he launched his career for chicken.

Don’t ever feel like you are too old to start something. Don’t ever feel that a few people who turn you down represent the possibilities of what your idea can be. 1,008 people were wrong about that special chicken recipe. The Colonel didn’t quit and the restaurant owner # 1,009 said yes to a product that made his restaurant successful.

Read Luke 18:1-8. Jesus tells the story about a judge. A woman wants to see the judge, but he refuses. The woman comes back again, again, again, and again. Finally, somewhat out of frustration, the judge agrees to see the woman. It was because of her persistence that she was able to present her case for justice.

You feel a little too old? You feel like you have failed at something? You feel like it is just easier to quit? If you feel like you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on and persist.

Pass the chicken, please!

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