What Time does the Store Close?

A friend who does a lot of spiritual mentoring says that’s a question she often asks, especially if she is talking with someone who is in a hurry to get an answer or help from God.

“What time does the store close?” she asks.

It’s a question that usually stops them in mid-conversation, and makes them realize that God is not in a hurry, and his “store” never closes.

It set my mind in a different direction.

I thought back to Ford’s Jewelers, the store my parents ran in our home city in Canada.

Closing time most days was 6 pm, except for Thursdays when all the shops closed for a half-day, and one week-end night when they stayed open until 9 to suit the farmers who came to town to shop.

For my father the store hardly ever closed, even when the doors were locked. He sat most evenings and some Sundays at his watchmaker’s bench, much of the time I suppose to get away from my mother’s anxious hassling about money.

Half a century later “What time does the store close?” seems like a question from another age, doesn’t it? Many big box stores hardly ever close, and internet shopping is available 24/7.

But what the question made me ponder is: when does the “store” of my mind ever close? My daughter Debbie says I am a “thinkaholic.” My mind usually is hopping like a grasshopper.

So I remember the King James version of Isaiah’s affirmation: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee” (Isaiah 26:3).

“Stayed”? When is my mind ever really “stayed”? my busy thoughts closed down to listen for the Voice that matters most?

I am thinking (there I go again!) that this Lenten season I could among fast from the information flow that never stops, whether internet or off the net.

To “stay” my mind on God. Because his store never closes, and his grace is always open.

Leighton Ford

February 2013

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