Extreme Faith

Lessons from a Country Store

It was a simple white frame building, similar in construction to the three houses lined up down the dirt street to the east of it. I walked up the steps onto the wooden porch and was immediately charmed as I entered the old, country, general store. Wood planks made up floor, walls, and ceiling. The shelves were lined with an array of grocery and hardware items. And two old gentlemen sat in rocking chairs at the front end of the grocery aisles.

I got a Coke from the red and white, chest-style cooler and popped the top with the bottle opener that was mounted on the front of the cooler. I had not seen a cooler like this in years. The two men greeted me with a warm “Howdy.” We chatted a minute and I commented, “You guys are in the middle of nowhere.”

In my defense, the Oklahoma map doesn’t even show the roads that lead to Griggs. That had intrigued me and I decided I wanted to find this town. This was pre-GPS. I had driven up from Amarillo, TX, and just took a few guesses and wound up in the right place. It was surrounded by miles of open farm land and prairie.

The sage, old men weren’t offended, though. No, they were quite prepared for my comment, which obviously they had heard before. I saw them give each other a quick glance and I detected slightly suppressed grins and and mischievous gleams in their eyes. They both kind of puffed up their chests just a little and one of them said, “No, actually, we are 27 miles from Boise City, 22 miles from Keyes, 22 miles from Stratford, 26 miles from Texhoma, 25 miles from Eva. We are in the middle of everywhere!

I could only laugh and yield. “I stand corrected. You are in the middle of everywhere.”

We visited awhile longer and they told me about their little town, the church, the outline of Noah’s Ark staked out in the field across the street to show the kids at Vacation Bible School how big the ark was. I left with a smile on my face, and a little bit of a new perspective.

Sometimes, when you have no sense of how to get where you’re going, no map, or directions, you just have to go anyway—like Abraham: “…he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).

Where you’re going may not be big, and boisterous, and glamorous, but it doesn’t mean it is useless, or meaningless, or lacking in charm or beauty.

Where you are may seem like nowhere, but it is somewhere, and maybe even smack in the middle of everywhere. You may not think there is anything here for you, but you just might be right where you need to be, in the middle of all the places God wants to take you, and all the lessons He wants to teach you.