Let me say first off that today is typically the second busiest day in the retail year, and both of my stores did very well. TLW continues to raise the bar of expectations, and C28 WPB is paving the road in the middle of spiritual unrest. God is good, and even though there are times when I question His timing, it's good to lean back on memories of successful days and know that He is in control.
It was really good to see all the customers come in today. This week in SoFL we've had nothing but rain, rain, rain, rain. It was like a cold front was coming in, but we never really got the cold front. Instead we had rain almost solid for a week. ARGH! Nothing kills biz like the rain. What was great about today is that it still rained, and the customers came out anyway.
I worked at the bookstore this morning. I thought they would need some help and they did. I worked the floor for the most part, answering questions for the customers while the emps ran the registers. We were clicking and the registers were ringing. Running a retail store in December makes up for the lousy 11 months leading up to it.
It's funny how God finds ways to humble you right before the whole pride thing kicks in. There was this woman I was helping in the Bible section. She was trying to find Bibles for her 2 twenty-something kids. They don't really go to church, and she was hoping to find something that was easy for them to understand. I was showing her some of the NIV Study Bibles, and explaining how study bibles work.
Lesson #1 in selling a Bible: Crack it open. Find a scripture and read it to the customer. Let them hear the language, see the text, see the helps. It's like sitting in a car you want to buy. You got to "feel" it before you can own it. So I opened up the Bible and flipped to a "random" verse. Usually I am quite specific on what verses I read to customers. Go with something simple, John 3, Luke 2, ets... In this Bible, the pages got stuck and I ended up in Matthew 21 and read the verse found in the upper right hand corner of the page... verse 12.
What's the big deal? This verse is my nightmare.
Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers.'"
As a Christian retailer, my greatest fear is standing before my God and having him say "You made a mockery of me by selling _____________ in My Name." Really, I do fear that. I think sometimes as Christian retailers we try to justify what we're doing. So did the moneychangers. "Selling doves? We're providing a service? Well, the churches can't handle selling the doves to everyone! If we don't give them doves, then who else will? We have to pay the rent somehow? God made the doves, we're just the middleman for the people!" All of these may be valid arguments, but it evidently was bad enough to cause Jesus, a man who is known to literally turn the other cheek, to go medieval on some tables.
And I don't know about you, but I don't want to be on the wrong end of Jesus' temper. Would you? So yes, on the eve of this holiday season when we will do 3 months worth of sales in one month, I encourage you to join me in remembering the reason we celebrate.
Thank you, Jesus, for the opportunity we have to celebrate Your arrival, your name, your renown. May my actions, my intent, my life be perceived not as a moneychanger selling doves, but a person intent on impacting lives for your kingdom.