As I write my daily reflections, I often find myself spending time deciding which proper conjunction to use. I love dealing and playing with nouns, verbs and adjectives. They give flesh and color to what I am thinking of. Adverbs are greatly appreciated for they add flavor and quality to what I am trying to express. But it is the conjunctions that provide the tone and structure to my thoughts.
AND – the elemental connective. AND allows me to connect all the people and things I want and love in my life. I am not here alone. I have been blessed with my loved ones AND my family AND my friends. AND then there are the many things AND events that make my life what it is. AND expresses the richness AND the endless possibilities there are in my life.
BUT – the precautionary note. Life is beautiful BUT there are moments that it is not. Life is good BUT, as they say, into each life some rains must fall. In life everything is gift, BUT I cannot have everything I want all the time. BUT then again, someday I just might. BUT is a good reminder that life can often spring surprises on us.
IF – the ultimate indicator that life is conditional. Life can also be said to random often times. Life is so subject to the laws of cause and effect, we often must ask the question what IF. Everyday we have to make decisions and IF helps us make the choice. IF I do this, what will I gain or reap as a result? Will I still do it, even IF I do not get what I expect?
YET – the poignant promise that I am an unfinished creation. I know I am good. YET, I have my moments of evil and iniquity. And I have YET to overcome my faults and shortcomings. I may be undergoing some difficult times, YET I know that these will pass away and things will become better. And that is what really excites me about life – the best is YET to come.
WITH – the clear sign of my decisiveness or lack of it. AND tells reminds me of my blessings. WITH reminds me of my choices. I can go through life WITH optimism or WITH negativism. It is my choice. I can also choose whom I want to spend my time WITH. I can choose whom I want to work WITH. And I can choose to work WITH enthusiasm or WITH disinterest.
OR – the constant reminder that I always have a choice. OR often goes around with WITH. No matter what situation I find myself in, there is always an OR I can choose from. And indeed life is a series of ORs.
Simple words, conjunctions are. Yet, we often take their power and significance for granted. I cannot imagine expressing myself without them. And so it is in life. We take so many things for granted; in the end, we lose sight of the real reasons why we do things. Like, mercy is weightier than sacrifice, not the other way around. Or, the Sabbath was made for man, not the other way around.
You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.
And Jesus said:
“I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.
If you knew what this meant, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,‘
you would not have condemned these innocent men.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”