IKEA and the Large Church, Part 1: To Hell and Back

My wife and I recently visited IKEA for the first time. A team of counselors continues to treat my post-traumatic stress syndrome. We emerged an eternity later with a cart full of throw pillows. I would have gladly paid a premium to avoid the bargain.

IKEAIn Swedish, IKEA roughly translates as “Eternal Torment.” An occasional whiff of brimstone underlies the deli’s meatballs. Dante did not list the retailer in his nine circles of hell, but Hades’ entrance can be viewed from there.

The lurid blue and yellow store squats on 16th Street in Atlanta. The massive building purportedly occupies two floors, but it feels much larger. Like Hogwarts, moving staircases constantly rearrange themselves while false-backed wardrobes lead to Narnia. After inadvertently losing my wife, we finally reunited a continent and time zone later.

A full service restaurant provides provisions for lost souls. One child slept soundly under a down comforter in a bedroom display. Other weary souls sprawled on Swedish torture devices marketed as furniture.

It would be hyperbole to compare my afternoon’s trek through IKEA to Israel’s forty years in the wilderness. However, I found myself muttering “I want to go back to Egypt!”

Reflecting on the experience, the retailer and the church share some common attributes. So I’m writing a series of blogs entitled IKEA and the Large Church which will compare and contrast the two institutions.

Next week’s blog is entitled A-maze-ing Grace.


9 thoughts on “IKEA and the Large Church, Part 1: To Hell and Back

  1. I would love to hear Tracy’s version of this adventure. All that you say is true, but it can be an experience that really raises your creative awareness!


  2. I cannot recall when I’ve laughed this hard or needed it more! Thank you for that. At your expense, of course. Your description was pretty much the same as my one and only IKEA experience so perhaps that is why I laughed so hard. We are the exception you realize but that does not change the fact it is not my kind of thing or place and never will be. Sounds like you’re right there with me. Looking forward to this series!


  3. Hey Bill…this was hysterical, which I think was your state of mind when you got out of there! I’ve never been, but now I need to get Ray to take me to this magical place. Besides we need a new sideboard. Can’t wait for your next posting. Love them and you!


  4. I’m with you Bill on IKEA! Went with my son in Houston to help him pick up a few things and I kept getting off of the marked path! I was admonished by my son to follow the arrows! Not going back to the “magical” place! Looking forward to reading anything you write!


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