The other day I went grocery shopping at Kroger. Into my cart went strawberries and a pineapple, carrots and broccoli, onions and garlic, dried small red beans, oatmeal, milk and yogurt, and a score of other food stuffs in bags, packages, cans, and cartons. I’ve shopped at Kroger for about 27 years, and when I was a child, my mother shopped there too. Back in 1883, Barney Kroger and B.A. Branagan started what they called the Great Western Tea Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. Now called Kroger, the company has over 2,500 stores in 35 states.
Kroger is not the only company that I, a follower of Jesus Christ, have dealings with. I recently tried to list all the businesses, governments, corporations, institutions, and organizations that I interact with on a more or less regular basis, or have purchased major products from. I came up with 93 of them—and since I’m sure I forgot some, the true number is probably about 100. The list includes huge corporations like Apple and Dell, Hyundai and Nissan; governments like the city of Goshen, the state of Indiana, and the United States; medical providers like Wellington and Weddell; financial institutions like Interra, Everence, Vanguard, and Edward Jones; the schools I’ve attended; and a big boatload of Mennonite institutions. If you sat down and listed all the organizations you interact with, I’m guessing it would be about as long and varied as my list. This is simply the nature of modern life. Unless you’re a radical hermit who grows all your own food, never buys anything, never banks or saves for retirement, and avoids contact with everyone right down to the mailman, then you inevitably have to deal with a wide-ranging assortment of institutions and organizations.
- Colossians 1:15 - 20