One of my My favorite times of the year are the Christmas season! During this season, our entire family gets together; we laugh, celebrate, eat food, and by the end of the day, we share gifts with each other. Now I’m not talking about the wrapped presents under the tree, but rather the stories, laughter, and the joy it is to have each other in our lives. What makes me love these gifts is they aren’t obvious. We need to look for these gifts and spend the time to truly see the full effect they can have. These hidden gifts are what make the season such a blessing, but we don’t have to wait until December to find these gifts.
This past summer, I was at our State Conference for Chapter Leaders when a new game started. One of our FFA staff started leaving little plastic toy army men all around campus for me to find. At first, this was a game I was thoroughly enjoying. They would be in the halls, in my vitamin case, and even had some of my roommates place them in my room. I got some members to start helping me find them and we would collect them and set up a little war scene at my bedside. Within the first day, I had around 30 little army dudes sitting in my room looking at each other and keeping watch. This lasted for about a day until I came back into my room to find all of the little army dudes gone. Someone came and stole all of my army dudes! At the moment, I was mad. I had worked hard to find those and to know someone just came in to take them was very frustrating. I sat in sessions trying to focus but instead this game, which was supposed to be fun, had started stressing me out and taking me away from the task at hand. It wasn’t until that night where I found where those little dudes went. One of the students in my room came running to me and told me all the dudes were back. I was so excited, so I went running down the hall to see. When I entered my room, I saw all of the army dudes, but not where I left them. Instead, whoever took them had decided to stick them on the ceiling of our room. I looked at them and just started laughing! What a funny scene it was to see all the dudes in a war scene on my ceiling! That night I sat in reflections thinking to myself about how I had wasted the last day being stressed about these little army men. I hadn’t invested much in finding them, but the best ending came with a scene I will never forget.
Life is a lot like these army men. We do not purchase the laughter we receive, the people in our lives, or even the moments we cherish so much. We may have invested in them, but we never are the owners of such moments. Because we aren’t the owners, sometimes things happen that we wish would never happen. Maybe it’s a loss of a friend, getting a bad haircut, or anything that puts us down in life. But in the end, we are just travelers in this life and can only ride along as it happens.
However, it is our choice to look for the hidden gifts. If we get a bad haircut, we can choose to laugh about it. If we get a bad grade on a test, we can look at what we got wrong and see where we can improve. If our favorite water bottle breaks, we can give it the best memorial a water bottle has ever had and let it bring us closer to the things we still have in life. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, the hidden gifts are what make life worth living.
Stationed by the Rising Sun,
Stationed by the Rising Sun,