I have a love-hate relationship with my local post office. I like most of the women who wait on me endlessly at times while weighing and getting my holiday cards accepted. It is a project that begins in June and ends . . . sometimes never. I hate the waiting
Going to the post office is as close as I get to playing the lottery. I do drive-bys. I drive by probably 3 times for every time I stop: searching for a time the parking lot is not filled with cars because I know I am not the most patient.
I had to go for my second-to-the-last post office stop before Friday’s card send-off. The parking lot was barely habituated. That was a good sign.
The line was short, another seemingly good sign because you know, that patient thing. Then the woman, just one person between me and the promised land of direct access, had stamp request after stamp request. I understand because I prefer certain stamps over other stamps. It is painstaking when you are not the one with the specific demands!
I am standing there, trying to quietly stamp my foot, when I catch a look at the man behind me. I took a double-take to make sure that really was a black collar under his winter coat that even I knew was a holy collar.
So I said to him, “I wish I had your patience”. He said in a thick accent, “Life is easier when you have patience”. I just looked at him, speechless. There was nothing that I, the least patient person, could answer to a man-of-the-cloth. Then without any further prompt from me he said, “But having patience is not easy”.
I turned to him to repeat this verbal gold he had just given me. “Life is easy if you have patience, but having patience is not easy”.
I love it. I hate the lines, but I love what the line produced. Who knew that I would get this gem standing in line on a snowy mid-week morning, far from a Sunday pulpit?
He asked me in his thick accent where I was from. I believe he was from a Hollywood TV set, a Hallmark Christmas movie, placed in that line to share a lesson with me. “Life is easy if you have patience, but having patience is not easy”.