Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Empty Store Fronts, Empty Pockets

I don't know how it is where you live, but in the past several months the commerical landscape around my neighborhood has changed a lot.

The Lone Star Restaurant was one of the first to go, followed quickly by Max and Erma's across the road. Then a couple weeks ago, Baker's Square hit the skids. Today I read in the paper that Bennigan's shut their doors yesterday without advanced notice to their employees. Those are just the restaurants. Bassett Furniture has been having a close-out sale for weeks now. I guess tomorrow is the last day before those doors shut for good. Standing in one of the neighborhood strip malls the other day, I looked around. Gone is the Country Sampler, Pier One, a discount beauty shop, a scrapbook store--and on and on it goes. The government may say we are not in a recession, but what I'm seeing says otherwise.

Aldi's, the low-cost grocer, is doing great as are Wal-Mart, Sam's and Costco. And I imagine the fast food restaurants are experiencing a surge. People still want to eat out but they will think twice before plunking down as much money as it takes to fill a tank with gas these days on a single meal. Gas has come down a little bit the past week or so, but I wonder how long that will last?It was a good ride these past years, but for now the economy has slowed to a crawl.

I'm still hoping for that elusive book contract and haven't given up. Even so, it's becoming harder to break into the market as publishers tighten their belts and are less willing to take a chance on an unproven author.

What keeps me going is that God never changes and he is the One who is in control no matter how much we try to manipulate things with tax incentive rebates, etc. He has authority over my life and this world. He promises to never leave me or forsake me. He promises to protect me. He promises me the greatest gift of all, far more valuable than a night out at a fancy restaurant or even a book contract.

He promises me eternity with him. I'll take that to the bank!

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