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It came unexpectedly: the blackened sky, the gale-strength winds, the spattering downpour, the truncated tree limbs and shrubs, the flickering of my electrical power—light-dark-light-dark light-dark—an interval of light, then more episodes of flickering, then light. It was seven P.M., supper completed in my kitchen. I prayed. Mercifully, the power did hold fast, supporting the oxygen concentrator for the night.

Later, this metaphor surfaced. The uncertainty between the dark-light flickers mirrored the “Yes-Buts” that occur when not fully conscious and turned away from God’s direction for the next breath. Like sitting on the fulcrum of a seesaw, going nowhere, I’m adrift within instinctual quicksand, rife with the seven deadly sins: pride, anger, greed, lust, gluttony, envy, and sloth—integral to my humanness. 

Another’s suggestion can easily trigger my “Yes-But” reaction, for that’s what it is—not a response. Imbalance sets in. Anger, pride, and sloth take center stage banked by monstrous fears. My “Yes,” spoken behind a mask of subterfuge, serves to placate the friend’s feelings for the offered suggestion, while the “But,” oozing with pride, reveals my self-centered ego. Sloth clouds my judgment with resistance to change, especially if it involves sacrifice.

Living in the indecisiveness of “Yes-Buts” deepens quagmire existence. I know. I’ve been there. No effort, no spiritual growth.

There is a way out, as I’ve often blogged: the Twelve Steps of any recovery program. Discovery of a Higher Power reverses such “Yes-But” reactions as we clean up our inner world with transforming grace and become honest. It works if you work it. light-color returns.

August’s riot is underway: black-eyed susans with clusters of golden-blackness erupting from formal gardens, country roadsides, and cracks in pavements. Hearty, boisterous, the wildflowers appear like gossips, their petelled heads leaning toward one another, with occasional breezes disturbing the configurations. At intervals, snappish rainstorms pelt the flowers, affixed to thick hairy stems. With the sun’s reappearance, the resulting mishmash slowly diminishes, and the gossips resume their chatter, with even more verve.

With the advent of autumn, black-eyed susans lose their petals, their cone centers hardening with seeds, with promise of spring’s proliferation. Even their colors lend their gold to maples, aspens, and tulip trees; to waning sunlight outlining blackened limbs.

And another year passes. This has been a good one.

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”

And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

From Genesis 1:11 – 13

We give thanks …

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