Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

Free Slurpees and Our Twenty-Four-Hour Culture

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2012 Jul 11

7-Eleven celebrates its 85th anniversary today (7/11/12) and to mark the occasion, stores will be handing out free seven-ounce Slurpees.

And all the kids – and adults who have a little kid inside them – rejoiced.

Coming from a business background, the explosion of the convenience store model is pretty fascinating. Started as the Southland Ice Company in 1927 in Dallas, Texas, the original store evolved and expanded over the years. In 1946 operators decided to open at 7 AM and close at 11 PM – a bold and unprecedented move at the time.

It wasn’t until 1963 that 7-Eleven began operating around the clock, and it was basically by accident. A late college football game one Saturday night in Austin, Texas, drew such a crowd to the store that the clerk never had a chance to close. Students loved it and the rest was history. Competitors followed suit and now thousands of stores in America are always open.  

As a corporation, the owners of 7-Eleven boast that they’ve changed the way Americans shop. There’s probably some truth to that – just knowing you can always get a gallon of milk or some medicine for a sick child does positively impact a person’s lifestyle.

I suspect some of you might have an opinion about the wisdom of this practice. That a store is always open means that somebody is always working, which can be good or bad, depending upon who you are and what the business might be. As a dad, I’m glad hospitals never close! Incidentally, it might surprise you, as it did me, that according to research, ten million people are awake at 3 AM in America, and seven million of them are working.

Turning to what matters most to me, I’m thankful, as are you, I’m sure, that the Lord doesn’t keep conventional hours. He’s available for us, of course, 24 hours a days, seven days a week. His doors never close, nor does He grow weary of listening to our lament or tire of comforting us in the middle of a dark and worrisome night.

“Come to me,all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” said Jesus (Matthew 11:28).

Oh, Thank Heaven – that our Savior is always available and always standing by our side.

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