A story caught my attention recently about a chain restaurant famous for all-you-can-eat bread sticks and unlimited salads. In response to underperforming stock, a hedge fund created a 300-page report outlining criticisms including overfilling salad bowls, using too much dressing, the liberal bread stick policy, and even the length of asparagus spears.
Have you noticed that national brands are reducing the size of their products while charging the same price? I was surprised when I bought a box of crackers (a brand that rhymes with “mitz”) how short the sleeves have become. One way to look at the hedge fund report is that investors want prices to remain the same while reducing the amount of food and service they offer.
A popular deli in Pike Place Market in Seattle was highlighted in a book about business – not for how well it did, but for how it failed. This local Mom and Pop deli was popular because each sandwich had a huge pile of fresh cut deli meat and came with a large, homemade pickle, free of charge. Eventually, the owners decided to retire. A team of investors bought the place. The first thing they did was to charge for the pickles. The deli closed two years later. I guess the decision to reduce the product got them into a pickle.
When I lived in Spokane, a Krispy Kreme factory opened near our home. They had an eight foot by eight foot red neon sign that lit up whenever they were making their delicious glazed donuts. We would go if the light was on because you’d get a free one for standing in line. I have never had a donut melt in my mouth like one seconds after it got off the white glaze drip line. After getting one free donut, like a moth to light, I had to buy a box. I have never eaten so many donuts in my entire life. The place was always packed and the drive thru seemed always to have at least three cars waiting. One day, the Corporation decided that they would no longer give away donuts. I have not been back since.
A great thing about the Church with Christ as its head is that the same amount of Grace that existed 2,000 years ago is still with us today. There is no shrinkage. Think of it like water; the amount on Earth today is apparently the same amount as at the Creation. The forgiveness Jesus offered while he was on earth is the same amount he offers today. There’s been no shrinkage in God’s love for us and there never will be. The Holy Spirit that was made known on the day of Pentecost is the same gargantuan-sized Spirit we have today. The outer packaging of the church may have changed, along with the times we worship, the places, the languages, and even the style of clothes we wear, but the free gift of Grace is the same size then and now. And, it’s available to all. We need never say, “Super-size that, please!” God’s love is already available in any size we need and like that free Krispy Kreme donut I used to be able to get, the Grace of God is free of charge to all and even without waiting in line.