The Gingerbread Men

Today, I didn’t want to do anything. I wanted to sit in my pajamas, scroll through Instagram, and not talk to a single person. However, when you have the family I do, having peace and quiet is about as rare as a unicorn sighting. So today, my 6 and 4 year-old siblings asked me to decorate gingerbread men with them, and I ignored their request. I thought in my head, “God will they ever just leave me alone?”, and I moved to a different room so they wouldn’t continue to bug me. It got to the point where I became so frustrated with them constantly asking me for something, that I screamed at them. At the top of my lungs, I screamed for them to go away. 

But then it hit me, like the headache that was starting to form in my head. I’m not going to be asked “Sissy, will you decorate gingerbread men with us?” forever. In fact, I’m not even going to be asked “Sissy, will you get me a glass of milk?” or “Sissy, will you read me this book?” forever. And this led me to start thinking about how little time I have left in the now. Winter break has flown by, Christmas already almost upon us, I’ll soon start my fourth (!!!!) semester of college and in a few weeks I’ll be twenty. 

With these realizations, a whole new wave of determination came over me. I got up, set my phone down, and decorated gingerbread cookies with them. Sure, there were a few moments when they put way too much frosting on one cookie, or popped open the sandwich bag that served as a icing tube, but I took a deep breath and helped them. It was then that I declared to myself that I will begin to fulfill every opportunity that is given to me, not just with my family but in everything I do. Later today I created a LinkedIn account (connect with me!), applied for my school’s newspaper, television station, radio station and numerous internships. But most importantly, I decided to never decline my siblings offers again. 

So I thank you, gingerbread men, for making me realize that there is so much in my life I need to cherish, so many opportunities I have in my hand that I need to grab and so much more. 

…And that is what’s going on in Lindley’s Life.

He said, “One life on this earth is all that we get, whether it is enough or not enough, and the obvious conclusion would seem to be that at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and bravely and beautifully as we can.” 

Frederick Buechner


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