Friday, May 18, 2012

Mailboxes and patience…

I would likely say that most of you are thinking that this post will be about waiting for mail to come.
In college, everyone loves to get real letters and packages, and you have to have patience.
When an important document or check is in the mail, you have to have patience.
When you are waiting on that new smartphone, or package, or gift to come to your home, you have to be patience.
When someone hits your brick mailbox, you have to be patient…

That’s the story today and the fail.
A little off kilter...

My neighbor had a yard sale a short while ago, and lots of people showed up. I was glad for her, but it made for a crowded street - no real big deal though.
As that Saturday went on, I did some tasks around the house and then spent some time with my children, etc. It was a good Saturday, until the phone rang. I was just finishing a shower, when my son yelled through the door, that he had to tell me something. He sounded intense. I finished getting ready and came out, to hear him say “Someone hit our mailbox!”
I immediately was agitated and anger began to seep in quickly. This was all that I needed. 
How bad was it?
Good night - why couldn't they pay attention? 
Are they still there? 
How much is this going to cost me? 
Could I punch them?
Lots of questions came flowing through.

Notice the black marks on it too...sad...

I went down to the road and my neighbor said a lady hit it with her trailer. I didn’t see anyone, so I asked “Did she just leave?” with a voice of frustration. A lady in the driveway said she was the one (she had the same tone I did) and I immediately sensed a conflict about to arise. I paused, ever so slightly, looked at her, smiled, and said “Well, I guess she didn’t leave then…” I quietly giggled and it completely broke the situation from an angerfest to a much better situation.
I looked, in detail, at the mailbox and realized it was likely not repairable. I explained to the lady that it would likely need to be replaced and asked her how she wanted to handle it. We went through some details and I look forward to it being corrected.
My fail here was that I had anger first and then kindness second.
It’s just a mailbox. It wasn’t my child, or something more major, like the corner of my house. No one was hurt. It was replaceable and it wasn’t completely knocked over. It really wasn’t a big deal.
I almost lost my testimony or reputation with my neighbor, and others, by overreacting to a situation. God gave me the wisdom and strength to pause and react better.
The “pause” was the patience, not the normal waiting game. A simple pause caused the situation to be much better, and will likely produce a better outcome, than yelling in the middle of the street.

BTW - got a call from the mailbox mower over-er and everything is being made new again. I would dare say the outcome could have been much different with a bad attitude...thank the Lord for His grace in situations like this.
Lessons Learned: Pausing can make all the difference in the world. Today is my 200th post!
Thoughts: HAve you paused today? Have you lost your temper over a simple thing?

Crunched all the way through... :(

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