A big rat with a baseball cap and cardboard crusted pizza

chuckecheeseI love a challenge – and Bridget, knowingly or not, set me one yesterday.

I mentioned on twitter that I had no idea at all what to blog about today and, given that I and my family had been to Chuck E Cheese earlier in the day, Bridget suggested ‘A big rat with a baseball cap and cardboard crusted pizza

I couldn’t let that slide… so here are my (possibly spiritual) thoughts on what I learned from Chuck E Cheese:

Chuck E Cheese, for those of you who are blissfully unaware, is a restaurant/play place. Their tag line is: Where a Kid can be a Kid.

All games (and there are lots of them) are 25 cents (or less if you buy game tokens in bulk) and you win tickets for each game played, depending on how well you do. For most games my kids play they get between two and five tickets but there are some where you can get bonuses of dozens or even hundreds of tickets. Tickets can then be converted to prizes before you leave.

The kids love it and, generally, so do the parents. You buy tokens, the kids play games and then they get free prizes for doing so. It’s great!

What impresses me most though is that the organization manages never to ceases to amaze me with its great customer service. Here are some examples:

  • If you’re playing a game and even the smallest thing goes wrong, they fix the problem and let you keep the tickets you’ve won in that game (helping you to finish the game if they can). Then, they give you a free token or two so you can play again. On top of all that, they apologize for the inconvenience!
  • As you walk in the door, each member of your family has their hand stamped. The stamps are unique to each family and there is always someone guarding the exit checking the hand stamps of the people who are leaving together. They will not let any child leave with an adult who doesn’t have the same hand stamp as them. It’s great security. You simply cannot take a kid out that you didn’t come in with!
  • If you want to have a party there, you can buy one of their party packages or simply do your own. They will put your cake in the refrigerator and supply plates, napkins and forks free-of-charge. It’s great!

As I thought about all of this and more, I thought about how different it is from my experience elsewhere. I’m not a great one for going to kids play places, but of all the places I’ve ever been, Chuck E Cheese stands out from the crowd because they’re different – and it’s good!

This made me think about Christians and how we talk and behave.

When people think about us, about YOU, do they think “that person is different – in a good way”?

  • Is the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,Β gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), so evident in you that people can’t miss it and you are known by it?
  • Are you being transformed into Christ’s likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18) or do you scoff at that and think it’s a nice idea but a little bit beyond you?
  • When the revolution comes and Christianity is made illegal, will they come and drag you from your home because everyone will know you by how you live, act and speak or will they pass by your house because no-one can tell that you are any different from the rest of this fallen race?

Chuck E Cheese is different from other places, not just because they have a big rat with a baseball cap but because their customer service goes above and beyond the norm.

We too, as Christians, should be different. Not because we’re pious and overbearing but because our attitude, our love and the peace that passes understanding should be seen in us by everyone around.