It’s OK to wait in line

If anyone who knows me ever sees me in line at a register at a retail store, or in a line at a gasoline pump, you should be alerted not to follow me.

You see, I am the guy who always gets into the line that will move the most slowly (if at all). There’s always a price check, a register tape to be replaced (after several attempts), or a car or SUV that has a 10,000-gallon tank that takes two hours to fill.

I, like mostly everyone else, do not like crowds. Crowds equal lines. Lines equal frustration. Some would tell me that’s a good time to pray, and it builds patience. I’m an old dog and new tricks are too much of a challenge.

I especially hate lines leading to or from sporting events and concerts, and traffic jams.

Yet, the irony is that I like crowds at sporting events and concerts. For me, a sold-out venue makes for more fun and excitement. But the lines at the rest rooms and vendor stations is a frustrating price to pay.

There is, however, one place where crowds and lines are more than welcome. In fact I wish it could be a weekly occurrence — at Sunday Mass.

Last Sunday, as is the custom in most parishes across the globe, the Easter Sunday Mass I attended was a “sell-out.”

Faithful Catholics know the drill: Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Easter are the days when churches fill up. Frankly, despite knowing many of these good folks only cast a shadow in a church three or four times a year, it’s good to see them there — although they’re very easy to spot: not knowing exactly when to sit, stand and kneel; and definitely still not aware of the Mass response changes that occurred more than four years ago.

I love a full church, but I do wish it were more “full-throated” when it came to responses and singing.

The lines for Holy Eucharist were very long, and that didn’t bother me in the least. In fact we stood in our pew for several minutes before we could even make it into the aisle. Oh, if it were like this every week!

The traffic lines after Mass were equally as long, and equally as tolerable.

Some day maybe Sunday Mass will share the same importance in people’s lives as do sporting events and concerts. I suppose that would be a good thing to pray for when I’m stuck in my usual gas or cash register lines. But first I’ll have to rid myself of the “old dog” syndrome. 

Happy Easter season!

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