How would our Father do it?

Published 2:00 pm Sunday, October 2, 2022

That’s not the way my daddy would have done it!”

I’ve said those words, sometimes audibly when I’ve gone to our mailbox to check for mail. More often than not, our mail is pushing at the end of the box — almost like it’s been slung in a rushed effort.

My daddy was extremely smart and had more common sense than anyone I’ve ever known. He had opportunities to learn professions that would have advanced him in the financial arenas but chose the job of mail carrier in order to keep his family close to parents and grandparents.

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He delivered mail on rural routes but did much more than his actual job description. He had a servant’s heart and always carried out his job with the incentive: What would Jesus do? On an occasional light mail day, it would be a summer treat for me to ride with him to “help” him with the mail deliveries. He taught me that there was always a right way to do any job — and it wasn’t always the quickest way.

Daddy would pull each delivery from his strapped stack of mail and hand it to me as he pulled close to a mailbox. In the usual fog of dust, I would open the box and push in the mail. I knew it had to be neat and toward the front of the box for easy retrieval. Less than half way through the route I would end up stretched out on the backseat suffering from car-sickness from all the turns, stops and bumpy gravel roads, but never before Daddy had taught me another lesson about a servant’s heart and work ethic.

Now for the turn in my story. The Bible verse that states: “Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” always brings up questions in my mind — heavy questions. How many are few? It’s an eternal question with eternal implications. That’s why I take seriously the Apostle Paul’s instructions to “examine and test yourselves to see whether you are in the faith.” Physical checkups aren’t the only important examinations. So I try to heed Paul’s directive.

Now back to the mailbox. Last week I went to mail some letters, pulled open the lid and started to line the letters up, leaning against the side of the box and toward the front. Then THAT dark voice reminded me of our carrier’s tendency to sling our mail. In response I pushed my letters to the center of the box — not mean enough to push them to the back, just halfway mean and somewhat vengeful.

I closed the lid, turned to cross the street, stopped and went back to the box. I pulled open the lid and pulled the letters to the front, leaning them neatly erect and against the side. I closed the box and laughed at my mailbox test. I passed it! God’s children always want to act like their Father.

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons (and daughters) of God” — Romans 8:14.

Letters to Camille Anding may be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602.