For years, there was a small, family owned lumber and hardware store in my hometown. Whenever I needed something for a project at home, I would run over to the local hardware store to consult with the owner. He and his co-workers were always helpful giving advice on how to tackle my issue at home.
Several years ago, the owners moved out. They were forced out of business by the advent of the big box home improvement stores which attracted the younger home owners looking for the cheapest price. It was a sad day when they locked the doors on the old lumber yard. Our community lost something. Over the past few years, the structure which housed the hardware store was demolished to make room for a future revitalization project.
The former owner of the former hardware store lives down the street from me. I don’t see him very often, but I often think about him as I walk or drive by his house.
What is he doing? What does he think of the changes to our small town? How has he adapted to the changes?
The other day I stopped at one of the big box home improvement stores to check out material for a potential home project. As I was approaching the store from the parking lot, I noticed a familiar face outside the entrance. It was a store employee neatly putting something away. It was my neighbor – the owner of the old neighborhood hardware store.
I stopped to talk to him for a few minutes before I went into the store. I mentioned that I lived up the street from his house and that I was a customer at his old store. I had the opportunity to hear about his career path since closing down the local lumber yard.
He plays the organ at a local church, and he decided to go back to work for one of the stores that drove him out of business. As he explained it to me, he has learned to adapt. He could have forever scorned the place that put himself out of business. Instead, he chose to join them and use his talents to provide local customer service at a place not always known for customer service. I got the sense that he decided to embrace the opportunity to bring salt and light into the big box store and where ever he landed.
I was impressed by his attitude.
So often, we put on a poor attitude when someone does something to “harm” us. Regardless of the circumstances, we have a decision to make. We can stay negative, sulking in defeat. Or we can see the opportunity in our circumstances.
I was talking to a local pastor on Sunday night, and we were talking about the recent SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage. He provided some amazing insight.
He said we are rapidly approaching a time when we will be living in a secular society. As he mentioned this, he smiled. He went onto say how excited he was by this possibility. When Christians live in a secular society, they will be forced to hash out their beliefs. The early church was formed in a secular society, and it grew at an amazing pace. Imagine what could happen if Christians get serious about their faith. The ramifications could be huge for the Kingdom of God.
He chose to find the positive in the time of major shifts in our country’s culture. I hadn’t thought about it like this before, but I like what he had to share.
Just like owner of the former hardware store, we can find the positive if we chose to look from the right perspective.
If you’ve gone through changes and you are struggling to come to terms with the adjustments you are facing, I’d encourage you to step back and take a look around you. Consider how you can transform your mindset to see the positive in what is going on around you. It’s there if you keep looking.
Finally, when all else fails, I would challenge you to look to the ROCK when everything else seems to be shifting around you.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:6
How has a shift in your perspective changed things for you? Tell me about it in the comments.