I have been to the post office about once each month to mail packages to my son on a mission. Somehow, I always seem to get the same guy when it is my turn to approach the counter. I never thought too much about it – until today.
It was several months ago that this friendly post office representative began mentioning the name on the package – “Elder”. My son’s mission was briefly discussed in the small amount of time it took to weigh, pay and wave goodbye. There was certainly not enough time to go into any depth on gospel doctrine, but I was grateful for the connection that was being made.
Through the months, brief conversations about missionary work continued over the post office counter. The nice man had many positive things to say about Mormon missionaries and I thanked him for being considerate and kind to them when they knocked on his door. I invited him to let the missionaries into his home the next time they came by. I was always grateful for the quick, blessed interchanges about the Lord’s work, but I always left quickly forgetting the event.
While I was standing in line this afternoon, I noticed this same gentleman was again working, standing where he always stood – at the very left of the post office counter. I then remembered past interactions with him and had the briefest of notions that we might just again “somehow” match up. I still, however, did not think too much about it. I still did not realize exactly what was happening.
Until, he looked at me and called, “Next!”
As I approached him with my package, before I even got to the counter, he said with a smile, “What’s the elder getting today?!” I placed my packed on the counter and said, “Candy!” He smiled and in his friendly way began another short conversation about missionary work. He said, “So how much longer?” I told him this was his “halfway” package and he only had a year left. He quizzically looked at me and said, “I thought missions were only 18 months?” I explained that that is true for women, but men generally serve 24 months. Then he said something that finally opened my eyes and helped me to see exactly what was happening here! He said with exuberance,
“I learn something new about your church every time you come in!”
I then felt very small. Not in a bad way, but in a humble way. I finally understood that my package delivering to my missionary son was no random act. I understood that God was aware of the post office guy and wanted to share His blessings with him! God was using my packages addressed to “Elder” as the starting point to extend those blessings to this friendly gentleman.
Now that I see the bigger picture, I will do things differently from now on! I will be praying for “the post office guy”! I will pray that He will find what God is trying to show him. I will most certainly pray just before entering the post office! I will also pray to know what God would have me say to him. I will pray to know what invitations to extend. I will have a Book of Mormon with me. I will learn his name! And I will send a couple of bonafide, actual missionaries in to the post office, looking for the friendly man who stands on the left.
I am glad I still have a year’s worth of packages to deliver! I am grateful to feel part of a bigger plan, an eternal plan, a plan for the eternal happiness of one – post office guy.
“But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfullling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen.” (1 Nephi 9:6)
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