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Chick-Fil-A founder on promise to stay closed on Sunday, brush with death

The 2002 book 'Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People' is making headlines after resurfacing in online news articles this week.
Credit: AP Photo/Ric Feld

In his 2002 memoir “Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People,” Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy wrote at length about his faith.

In one passage he wrote about how a young boy impacted the way he prays, and in another he detailed how his battle with colon cancer when he was just 38  forever strengthened his faith.

According to a Business Insider report that has put the book back in the news, it also included the explanation for why Chick-fil-A remains closed on Sundays to this day.

The book apparently recounts how Cathy’s children arranged a dinner for the family in which they presented their parents with a formal promise that they would be “faithful to Christ’s lordship in our lives.”

“We will prayerfully seek His leadership in all major decisions that impact our family and others,” it said, according to Business Insider’s account of the book. “Our family roles as spouses to our lifelong mates, parents to our children, and loving aunts and uncles will be our priority.”

It reportedly went on to include a vow to keep the business closed on Sundays.

According to one estimate, the company possibly foregoes more than $1 billion in sales yearly by remaining committed to Cathy’s policy. The patriarch died in 2014 at 93 years old.

RELATED: Report: Chick-fil-A could gain more than $1 billion in additional sales by opening on Sunday

Other excerpts from the book give further insight into Cathy’s faith.

In recounting his bout with colon cancer, he writes that his wife Jeannette told him before a critical surgery: “God isn’t finished with your life yet. I don’t think He’s going to take you.”

“I didn’t share her optimism,” he wrote.

Before the surgery, he said he had “experienced a new peace in the car that morning, knowing that whether I lived or died I would be with God.”

Credit: AP Photo/Ric Feld

He wrote he was surprised to wake up in the recovery room, alive and seeing his wife’s face.

“'I’m alive,’ I prayed again and again,” Cathy says in his book. “’Thank you God, that I’m alive.’”

“I came out of the hospital a new creation, prepared to take on whatever life dealt, for I knew God would be with me,” he wrote.

In another instance, Cathy recalled about how a young boy, Stevie, was scared of the dark, and when they prayed together, the boy “offered a prayer apologizing to the Lord for being scared.”

“I smiled there in the dark. Steve was completely honest in his prayer,” Cathy wrote. “When I pray I try to pray as honestly as Stevie did that night, from the heart, not just with words, but with thoughts, seeking God’s guidance and direction, committing myself to do what I should do and to change what I should change.”

“We need to trust the Lord in our various circumstances. We all need God in our lives,” the Chick-fil-A founder continued. “But sometimes we’re not willing to go all the way with Him. Our faith is not complete. When we do offer our faith completely, we experience peace and joy, knowing that God is watching over us regardless of our circumstances.”


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