One of my favorite characters from my hometown, a small farming community in central Kansas, is a man named Homer. Among Homer’s distinguishing characteristics is his prosthetic arm with a hook for a hand, a replacement for his own hand that he lost in a farming accident many years ago. Homer is also quite the theologian.
Homer’s family has owned and operated a butcher shop and a small country store since the late 1970s. Like most small business owners in small towns, Homer’s family endured their share of fat times and lean times. I stopped by Homer’s store a few years ago and was amazed to see that the small butcher shop and store aren’t so small anymore. Homer and his family still serve the local community, but also now ship product coast-to-coast, supplying specialty meats to a vast array of customers (ground ostrich, anyone? how about some buffalo jerky?).
I congratulated Homer on the impressive growth of his family’s business. Homer thanked me and went on to say, “you know, a Homer idea never works…but a God idea always works.”
I was intrigued by Homer’s response asked him to elaborate. A few years before, Homer and his family were facing particularly challenging business conditions. The outlook for their shop and store was bleak. Then one Sunday morning, as Homer sat in his usual pew, an idea dawned on him. An idea he immediately identified as a God idea: the $99 half-a-hog special. He would partner with local farmers to procure locally-raised pigs. He would then offer his customers a select menu of naturally processed pork products (a ham and a variety of sausages, pork chops, and bacon).
The God idea was a win-win-win. It was great for customers, giving them access to affordable, high-quality, locally-sourced meat. It was great for pork producers (including my dad), who sold their hogs to Homer for a premium price. And it was great for Homer’s family, providing a steady revenue stream that allowed them the means and opportunity to grow their business.
Hearing Homer’s testimony, I was reminded how Proverbs 3:5 encourages us to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Because a Homer (or your name here) idea never works…but a God idea always works.