"So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." ... 2 Corinthians 4:18
Probably most of us recall shopping at Sears as children, later as young marrieds, then as old marrieds (er hem...). We remember some of the items we bought there-- I especially recall purchasing washing machines, nightgowns and vacuum cleaners. Oh and earlier, shopping with my mom for school clothes and the day she let me buy a baby-blue sweat jacket which I longed for with all my heart.
Sears will be closing 100 - 125 stores this year.
And some of us perhaps shopped with our moms on Saturday afternoons at JC Penny and then with our own children after we grew up.
JC Penny is closing 300 - 350 stores.
And oh, the hours I've spent sitting in Barnes and Noble listening to classical music, sipping coffee and reading books in comfortable chairs.
Barnes and Noble will close 190 - 240 stores.
Radio Shack will close 450 - 550 of their shops. KMart will shut 175 - 225 more doors than they have already in past years. Office Depot: 125 - 150 stores will cease to be as well as 150 - 175 Office Max stores.
Christian book stores are on their way out, as well.
Reasons for these closures? They vary, but the ease of ordering items online, the increase of the huge brick-and-mortar stores, the way books are going electronic (or aren't being read as much) and stores not changing with the times--these are some causes for closures, for all those job losses.
Another reason? Nothing in our world lasts forever. No matter how much we may wish that to be otherwise, everything ends. Everything eventually morphs into something else.
Well, except for God, (real) love and the relevancy of the Bible.
But here's what I'm watching lately: many of my Christian friends are blown away by all the impermanence. By endings. Something ceases (as everything will) and they're devastated, angry, then bitter. Fearful, too. And because their 'hope was deferred,' their hearts are now sick with a type of sickness which lasts a very long time.
What I'm choosing instead? I'm choosing to just be grateful I had what I had, for however long it lasted. That I had it at all. To not wish back what is forever gone, but to thank God it was mine, even for a moment, and to be grateful for my memories...
... the nifty suburb house Tom, Naomi and I had, Naomi's 'little girl days' and then how she lived nearby after leaving home. Our farm and the 'gift year' Naomi lived with us there, the friends and cats we've loved and lost, the cool furniture, books and trinkets we gave away. All are gone, but never far from our hearts.
Now? Now I'm making new memories while doing different activities, finding other ways to live a godly life and opportunities to spread Jesus' joy all around. A challenge sometimes but, as Joyce Meyer says, God has anointed us for hard.
Here in our earthly life, things come and go, nothing remains as we found it. Only in Heaven will we know true permanence--yet why do we foolishly search for it here?
We're not Home yet! We're still walking, still on the journey, still making our way farther up the road. Dreaming of Home, but living good lives here--in the meantime-- as wise children who will make God proud when He looks upon us one day and exclaims, "You made it! Welcome to your permanent home."
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick..." ... Proverbs 13:12
"To everything there is a season, a time, a purpose under Heaven... a time to be born, a time to die, a time to tear down and a time to build..." ... from Ecclesiastes 3
When God is truly enough, all else is, too. Contentment reigns.
Oh, this morning I watched a family Christian movie, one actually done really well (!) ...smile... It's called October Baby and I found it in the instant portion of Netflix. If you watch, be sure not to miss the credits at the end--wow, what a testimony! Made me cry.