“The Old General Store”
Turning onto the road to our house, we have the most welcome nostalgia of days gone by. It is like turning the clock back in time and driving down Memory lane. Our neighbor’s ingenuity and hard work took the ingredients designed for the good old days and created “The Old General Store.” By using old planking for the rough outside and old signs of that day, they create a very authentic look The screen door displays the picture of Miss Sunbeam herself. Oh my, does it ever take me back in time? In these days of rush, hurry, and go, it is a very welcomed touch of the heart as I head home.
Seeing the signs nearly always cause a rush of emotions and visions of a little girl growing up in a house hold with six sisters and a younger brother. Those were the days of school, church, Christmas, and other memories such as my hard-working dad coming home with a bag full of candy. We children would all scramble for a piece-there was always enough! Later, we would slip into the kitchen and look on top of the ice-box to see if the bag had been placed there with any extras that remained.
Such memories bring my mind back to a day when this little girl walked hand -in-hand with her “great big” dad into The General Store. They found themselves standing in front of a shelf that held crayon boxes. There were the big boxes-like her friends jean Pickering and Mildred Fay would lavishly display at color time. Then on the lower shelf were the smaller boxes like she was used to-eight basic colors. ” I really need a new box of crayons,” she said to herself.
The little girl looked up into the face of her dad realizing that he had been watching her. Could he read her thoughts? ” Go ahead,” she heard him gently speak. ” Go ahead-which box would you like?” Her hand and heart said, “Oh, I want the big box!” but instead she placed her hand on the small box and said cheerfully, “This one.” Looking up into her father’s blue-gray eyes, she recalls the wink and smile as he said, ” Are you sure? I’ll get you any box that you like.”
For some unknown reason, the little girl reached for the small box-perhaps, she could not imagine herself with the big box like Jean Pickering and Mildred Fay or expect her dad to make the sacrifice to pay for it. She and her dad left the store- she with the small box of crayons and her dad grinning and saying, “I’ll get you the big box… if you want it.”
That old General Store is many miles away, and probably no longer in existence. The little girl is no longer a child but a lady. However, the memory of the old store and crayon purchase remain. At each turn onto her road, she sees the neighbor’s Old General Store and it all come back again. Her father’s sweet voice keeps beckoning, “Pick any box, Honey. I’ll buy you any box you’d like.” ” This one, Daddy. This one, ” the little girl eyes were filled with joy while inwardly her heart was still longing for the big box, an ache that even time has not erased.
Though that General Store is gone, now I find myself faced with life’s General Store. I hear my heavenly Father’s voice as He scans my selections, ” Do you really want to choose that small one?” I detect His loving smile and hear Him say with the kind voice like my dad so many years ago, “I will give you any that you choose.” However, in my childlike perspective and for reasons unknown, many times I still make the choice for the small ones. Seemingly, I can hear my dad say, “This time,dive for the big box.”
I must go for it-I cannot miss the big box of life that my heavenly Father is offering me. The abundance of His life offers colors wider than the sky. They are mine for the choosing. I hear His voice:”How about a bright yellow of my sunshine, or perhaps the soft blue of my tender love? How about many shades of kindness, all for the picking?”
There is one color for sure I cannot leave out; I can have it in abundant supply -it is the crimson red of His forgiveness, His blood shed on Calvary. Sometimes I hear the Old song: ” I see a crimson stream of blood; it flows from Calvary. Its waves which reach the throne of God are sweeping over me.” There is enough of it for a lifetime!
Thank you, Father. I choose the abundant life-the big box. Mark it mine!