Just recently, I was waiting for a few days for a package to come by UPS in the mail. Finally, I came home one day and found the UPS sticker stuck to the mailbox. I looked at it. First delivery, it said. Signature required. Missed. Will be back tomorrow between 2 and 5. Why can’t they just leave the package there? And now, I’m thinking, come back tomorrow at the same time and I won’t be here again. What am I going to do?
The next day came, and sure enough, there was the sticker again. Second delivery, missed. Signature required. Third delivery scheduled for … well, of course another time I wouldn’t be around. I missed that too, and it was only after that that I got on the internet and tracked it down.
Returned to shipper, it said. Package refused at address.
Refused? I never met anyone, I never refused anything. It must be a mistake.
So I spoke to the folks I had ordered the package from and of course they have the package in their warehouse. “I didn’t refuse the package, I never met anyone. How come they want a signature? Who’s going to be waiting around all day just to sign for a package?” She didn’t know, but she kindly said she’d send it again.
As it turns out, my roommate Tim also was expecting a package. So, that day, there’s another sticker on the mailbox. I told him, “Tim, you better get on that or they’ll send it back.” Of course, a few days later, his package is returned to shipper.
So, this time we find out that we can have packages held at the local UPS pickup. I set it up on the internet, and went over.
Closed til 4:30.
So, finally, at 4:35, 7 days after I was originally supposed to get the package, I held this little brown box in my hands. 7 days of head scratching, internet checking, phone calls, missed UPS delivery men, re-shipping. So, anyways, Tim picks up his, too, and after we get home, he tells me about his phone conversation with UPS. “They said you could just call the number on the back to have the package held at the pickup.”
So I started looking at the sticker more closely. I turned it over, and sure enough, there was the phone number. And then, I paused and took the time to read the whole thing. There at the bottom was something to the effect of, “Sign here to have the package left at the door.”
You’ve got to be kidding. All I had to do on the very first day I got the sticker was do some more thorough investigation, and I would have turned the thing over and signed the back and the package would have been on the doorstep the next day. We both got a good laugh at our being dummies.
God sent His only Son, His most precious Son as a special gift to Mary, to have Him as her own. It’s an unbelievable gift, right? Well, she had to do something to receive Him. She had to go beyond the surface of things. She had to pay attention to the things that He made happen in her life. She had to pay attention to the Scripture. She had to pay attention to her neighbors, to the events that caught her attention, to the signs that He showed her in her neighbor and the things around her, to the movements of her heart in all these events of her life.
She had to turn over His little stickers.
But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. (Lk 2:19)
If we follow Mary’s example, if we pay close attention to God’s little stickers and turn them over, then we too will be fertile ground like her.
We too will hold God’s greatest gift in our own hands.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Is 55:10-11)