My most recent sale completed and most of the payments received, today I made a trip up to the post office to ship the texts to their new owners – about twenty-five books in all, to be shipped to various towns and cities from Sea to shining Sea.
It is at this point that I must reflect that Saturday mornings (especially those right before the start of Oklahoma Sooner football games) are not the best times to attempt to make a speedy transaction at the Norman post office. I mean no disrespect to the postal clerks, only that it seemed that there were far more people that needed service than the two staffers could manage in a timely manner. The line reached nearly to the entrance door.
So I`m standing there with a large box of individually packaged books, knowing that each one requires individual postage – a procedure that, itself, will take no less than twenty to thirty minutes. Furthermore, I`m not really in any hurry – for it is a Saturday, and the only obligation is an evening outing to a friend`s estate for an Autumnal get-together frolic.
Thinking on this, as I slowly make my way up in line, I decide to give up my place in line for those behind me. Most of them only need some small token of service from the clerks, and needn`t be forced to wait on my behemoth shipping order – especially since I should`ve chosen a more prudent time to make my delivery. Besides, I enjoy pushing my own sensibilities and this is the perfect moment to deliberately test my own internal patience and capacity to yield to others – even when not particularly necessary.
Eventually, after ceding my position in line for about half an hour or so, I`m the last customer left – just as they are about to close for the day, and I feel good about the time spent. In some small way I feel like I`ve been able to do something for another person – sure it`s nothing of any great consequence, but even the smallest kindness is its own reward.
The postal clerks smile at me as I step up to the counter, and one of them says: “I`ve never seen anyone do anything like that before – just stand there and let everyone go in front of him. Y`know you would`ve been out of here long ago if you would`ve just stayed in line?”
I chuckle at this and explain my thinking on the matter but the clerk doesn`t seem entirely convinced, or maybe he`s just confounded by it – who knows. Nevertheless, he explains to me that he`s going to go out of his way to help me get a good price for shipping my packages – even finding a way for me to ship many of them First Class at a lower rate than standard Media fare.
Surely as kindness is its own reward, `tis always edifying to see how the LORD works within the lives of His people to bless them in countless tiny ways.