July 16, 2020


Spider Web 09/05/2009 05 — Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, September 5, 2009
"But my FREEDOOM!!!"

The people who protest mask wearing
for the good of the whole
cannot get beyond the idea
of masks being imposed on them
against their will 
by the domineering authority of those in power over them.

Sacrificing their idea of freedom
for the common good
is beyond the pale of reasonable and compassionate.
"That's asking too much!"
they say.

And here we are.

How good is the good they call good?
It is not good at all for anyone but themselves
and those like them.

How wide is our circle of compassion and concern?
What limits it?
Restricts it?
Expands it?

How low,
or high,
is our kindness and consideration threshold?

How easily do we feel "put upon"
and "taken advantage of"?

What can we do about that
in terms of becoming more giving
and less resentful?

These are questions never asked
by those who protest
"But my FREEDOM!!!"

And there is no way to force it upon them.

This is the log jam in the flow of human development.
We cannot be made to grow up against our will--
and yet, and yet...
EVERYBODY grows up against their will!!!

No one volunteers for the experience. 
We all go bucking and snorting into the process,
with stiff necks and hard hearts
and stout resistance at the very idea!

And some of us change our minds.

What is that about?

Why do some of us change our minds
and some remain "arrested" in their development
throughout time?

Some of us have the capacity to grow up in spite of ourselves,
and some of us have nothing whatsoever 
to do with what is being asked of us ever.

And here we are.

Those of us who have the capacity to be big about it
have to be big enough 
to take the pettiness and brutality 
of those who will be small and angry forever
into consideration,
tell ourselves, "I'm sure they would do better if they could,"
and try to find some way to work with their
stern refusal to be helpful
as best we can.

We have to grow up 
about their failure to grow up
and grieve the fact of things staying as they are
long past their need to change.



Reelfoot Lake 11/04/2015 06 –Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015
Believe in your Work.
Believe in The Way.

Allow them to become
the grounding,
forces in your life.

Our Work is The Way!
The Way is our Work!

There is no separation,
no distinction!

We have to understand 
our Work
is not necessarily what we are paid to do.
What we are paid to do pays the bills.
Our Work is what we pay the bills to do.

Paying the bills enables us to live.
Our Work enables us to be alive.
Our Work is what we live to do.

Chances are we have no conception
of what our Work is.
There is nothing in our background
that is specifically geared to help us
comprehend the importance 
of knowing/finding our Work,
and if we find it,
it is because we stumble upon it.

The concept of The Way
is in a similar state.
No one talks about The Way 
in our experience.
Everyone talks about finding Jesus
and going to heaven when we die.
No one says anything about finding The Way
and being Alive until we die.

We are on our own
with regard to our Work and The Way.
But we come well-equipped for the task.
All it takes is being still and quiet,
and knowing what we know--
allowing what we know
to guide us away 
from all that is Not our Work
and Not The Way,
and toward what IS our Work
and Is The Way.

Knowing what it is not
is a very helpful thing to know.

Knowing what it is
is a matter of knowing 
what attracts us,
resonates with us,
calms us,
centers us,
grounds us
and brings us to life.

Determining the "Life Quotient" 
of the things in our life--
the degree to which they spark
something within us
and cause us to smile for no reason--
will help guide us to IT
and away from NOT IT.

There is also a "felt sense"--
a physical sensation--
within our stomach or chest
(A bit like being in love)--
that clues us in on what's what
when we are in the presence of IT.

The rule is always in play:
"Look closer at the things 
that catch your eye!"
And let those things lead you
to your Work
and The Way!

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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