I have this love/hate relationship with a beautiful and maddening cypress tree in my front yard. I love that tree not only because it’s beautiful but also because it casts long shadows that cool the front of our yard on hot summer days. At the same time I hate that thing because it’s constantly dumping tiny little niblets of cypress growth. Unlike leaves from a normal tree, these little niblets (what do you call them?) get all clumped together in my rain gutters, and no matter how often I clean out those gutters I’m always having to get on a ladder in the driving rain to unclog my overflowing gutters. It’s a pain in the you-know-what!
I wish I could clean my gutters at the beginning of the rainy season (thank God we’re actually having a rainy season!) and then forget it. But that darn cypress tree won’t let me set it and forget it. In the same way, I wish I could just “one and done” my way through spiritual and emotional growth – learning a lesson one time, setting a new course, and then not have to think about it or wrestle with it again. However, that ain’t how it works. My spiritual and emotional development are a lot more like my ongoing experience with my cypress tree where I’m constantly having to clean things out to keep things running smoothly. That’s life in the real world!