Few receive more flak than the Post Office.
Ashamed and embarrassed, we are guilty as accused of making snide remarks, as well. “It’s the only Post Office and acts like it, too.” As true as that might be, everyone must agree, despite contradictory comments and sour gut feelings on occasions, service of the United States Postal Service is truly miraculous.
Downside of the operations was again brought to mind on the day after New Year’s when we had to wait half an hour to mail one letter. Days of penny post cards are long gone, but still for about a quarter, one can send a written message most anywhere. Amazing, also, is that it’ll typically arrive at its destination within a few days.
We’ve seen mailbags, and how one little portion of an ounce piece can survive the vast handling from persons to motor vehicle to train to ship to airplane and still reach where it was sent in such a short time frame is truly a work of wonders. Even more unbelievable is how addresses can be deciphered by any human, let alone computers.
Depends on where the parcel is being sent, and despite all of the “address rules” ordering precise street addresses and zip codes, letters from as far off as Timbuktu still arrive in our box with merely Alta Vista, Kansas, nothing more.
Certain folks trust the Post Office so much that they’ll mail greenbacks, even large denominations, in a letter. Interestingly, the million-dollar Hope Diamond, when donated to the Smithsonian Institute, was mailed from New York City to Washington, D.C., in a brown paper parcel. We’re not that trustworthy.
Sometimes when we’re mailing a piece of value, or one that’s nearly irreplaceable, we’ll pay extra to verify delivery. That takes at least double the service, and without exception, we’ve never been let down. We have sent stuff through modern-day competitors, and it’s always cost multiples more, with no better service.
The Pony Express fascinates us, and although it was never a part of the Postal Service, the galloping rider was the official symbol until invention of “Mr. Zip.” In the 19 months of the Pony Express, only one rider was killed by hostile Indians, and only one bag of mail was lost by riders who covered about 650,000 miles on horseback.
Most unbelievable of all, the U.S. Postal Service is an independent government agency. It was started in 1775, with Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General, and the present system descends in an unbroken line from that start.
Post Offices deliver more than 212 billion pieces of mail a year to nearly 148 million addresses, relying on postage and fees to fund operations. Too bad at least one other federal branch doesn’t work as the Post Office does. We won’t complain again, maybe.
Best we all remember Proverbs 25:23: “The north wind brings forth rain, and backbiting a countenance.” Thus, we must follow Ephesians 4:31: “Make a clean break from all bad-mouthing. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.” We should heed First Samuel 19:4: “Sin not against the servant, for he has not sinned against you, and his deeds have been of good service to you.”