Once upon a time, I owned a nice little Christian bookstore in a nice little neighborhood. My neighborhood, in fact. It was a sad day when I closed that nice little bookstore, but I had vague plans of continuing to sell my books out of my home or online or anywhere else I could think of. Well, a year and a half later, our garage was still full of boxes of books, CDs, toys, gifts, etc.
Then I had a God idea. I love God ideas, because that means you are never in the idea by yourself.
A couple of weeks ago, I was leaving the coffee shop that I manage and noticed – not for the first time – a vacant unit in the same commercial complex. It happens to be the same complex where my nice little bookstore was located (it’s a dance studio now, by the way). The vacant space has been that way for a couple of years and the thought came to me that I should look into renting it for the months of November and December. I could move my bookstore inventory in there, sell it off at ridiculous discounts, and come out of the whole thing with an empty garage and some cash in my pocket. The plan lodged itself in my brain, fully formed, within minutes. I contacted the building manager the same day and she immediately agreed to my unheard of, and almost insulting, low offer to rent the place. God idea? I think so.
So, with the help of my amazing husband and children, I opened for business a week later.
The inside of my temporary store looks like a garage sale, and that’s exactly how I’ve advertised it. There are no bookshelves or lovely displays. Everything is piled up on folding tables or makeshift ones. There are boxes everywhere. But yesterday, the opening day, my loyal customers flooded through the doors and I sold books. Lots of books. So many, in fact, that the rather aggressive goal I’d set for this sale is much closer than I’d ever imagined it would be this quickly. God idea? Absolutely.
While I titled this blog post The Book Sale, it’s really all about God and listening to Him when He pops these ideas into your head. I don’t even like to think about all the ideas He’s given me over the years that I didn’t pay attention to. Or wrote them off as dumb or difficult or impossible. But I am learning.
A number of years ago, I heard a sermon preached about God, the Ultimate Creator. I had been struggling at that point, wanting more creative ideas. Something new. Something different and unique. The preacher of that sermon said this: If God is the ultimate Creator, and if you are His child, then all you have to do is ask Him to share His ideas with you. You are made in His image, after all, and you have the same ability to create.
Well, that kind of revolutionized my thinking. Or at least the creative side of my thinking. I started asking God for creative ideas for my job, for my writing, for my family, for my church. And you know what? He came through over and over and over again. I believe it wasn’t so much that God was delivering more ideas to me as it was that I was paying attention and looking for them. Some of those ideas have been pretty wild!
So, back to the bookstore. Yesterday morning, before I unlocked the doors, I reminded God that He had given me this idea. He pulled it all together in a very short period of time. I told Him how grateful and excited I was. Then I asked God to do what He does best – be God. I’ve done all I can to make this book sale work. He’s doing the rest.
God idea? No doubt about it.