Have you ever found yourself in a position where you thought, “How in the world did I get here?”
I asked myself that question just yesterday.
It all started with some homemade cookies. I’d been eyeing but avoiding them for days and patting myself on the back for my excellent self-control.
“They’re for the kids,” I’d say.
Then my coffee maker broke. Then the toddler woke up fussy. Then I stubbed my toe. If ever there was a day when I needed — nay, rightfully deserved — a cookie, this was it.
I snuck past the living room where my toddler was playing and I entered the kitchen. There was only one cookie left, but no one would have to know. The kids would just assume they’d eaten it.
I popped open the lid ever so quietly, but my toddler’s toys immediately hit the floor. “Cookie? Cookie?” he squealed and started toddling his way to the kitchen.
I knew I only had seconds before I would be discovered. I shoved the cookie in my sweatshirt pocket and thrust the container behind an appliance. As my son rounded the corner he looked up at me with those big innocent eyes and said, “Cookie?”
I looked him right back in his sweet little face and said, “Nope, no cookie here!”
He followed me back to the living room with a confused look on his face and I told my husband that I was running to the restroom for a second. I sat down on the rim of the tub and pulled that cookie from my pocket. I did a quick once-over looking for lint and then I took a bite.
The taste of chocolatey goodness exploded on my tongue, but this moment of joy was slightly overshadowed by my fear of eating pocket fuzz and my realization that I had literally just taken candy from a baby.
How in the world did I get here?
My bad day, much like the year 2020, brought so many things that were beyond my control. In my case, it was a broken coffee maker and a fussy toddler, but for all of us this year it’s been a global pandemic, much loss and various traumatic events. We’ve all been weathering a storm.
Even in out-of-control circumstances though, there are always things we can control. We can choose how to live, for example. We can choose to be generous, honest, and kind — all the things I wasn’t that day. We can choose, like the Bible says, to not only look out for our own interests, but also for the interests of others.
My toddler pushed open the bathroom door and caught me red-handed. I held out the cookie and he laughed with glee, plopping at my feet to eat it. No cookie was as sweet as that moment.
Let’s choose to live with kindness, thoughtfulness and grace for each other because, much like that cookie, life gets sweeter when we share it well.