July 23, 2020


Cut and Staked 10/06/2002 — Tobacco in the field, Western North Carolina, October 6, 2002
It takes taking some things on faith--
believing they are so--
in order to know that they are.

The visible world is upheld and sustained
by the invisible world.

Death and rebirth are metaphors
that transform the fact of life
and enable us to live with facts
we could not, otherwise, bear.

Seeing past the facts 
enables us to take into account
more than denial would allow,
and opens up worlds for our imagination
to explore, investigate, examine
using analogy, allegory, parable and reflection.

Taking God out of the sphere of facts,
and understanding God to be representative
of more than words can say
about experiences that cannot be explained,
or even understood,
permitting "That Which Has Always Been Called God" 
to become real for us beyond theology, doctrine, dogma and creed,
and inviting us to explore 
what it means to say,
"There is more to us than meets the eye,"
and what that might offer us as a guardian and guide
through dark places and disquieting times.

We are not alone.
Carl Jung said, "There is within each of us,
another, whom we do not know."

The Force that is with us as Way and Virtue
comes to life through sincerity 
and a return to our original nature.
Grace and Dharma stand by smiling
as "events unfold in mysteriously appropriate ways"
(Joseph Campbell).

However, the invisible world cannot be used 
in the service of our egocentric
goals, plans, desires, agendas and schemes.
Contrivance is not a companion of soul.
And sincerity is the prerequisite for all of our interaction
with the Source and Goal of Life and Being.

We are all within a quiet breath
of that "very present help in time of trouble."
All it takes is
In the stillness
and the silence
for things to stir to life there
and begin to occur to us
as comfort and direction
in response to what our life situation
is calling for.

What we do about that is up to us.
It may be enough for now
to receive it as an encouraging
disclosure of the fact
that we are not alone,
and that we only have to restore
our relationship with the Other
who resides within
to know that it is so.



Blue Ridge Fall 10/17/2019 15 — Julian Price Memorial Park Picnic Area, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 17, 2019
Nothing will turn things to the good in our life--
your life and mine--
like making our peace with how things are.

Failing/refusing to do that is the source of all of our pain.
And doing it is the solution of all of our problems today.
Every day.


What's the problem?



Lotus Blossom 02
Each of us has our own life to live.
There is that which assists/helps us with our life,
and there is that which hampers/interferes with our life.
It is our place to know the difference
and be attuned to it,
assisting what assists us,
helping what helps us,
avoiding what hampers and interferes
with us living our life
the way it needs to be lived.

We are not free to live any way 
we feel like living .
"We are our own worst enemy"
in a lot of ways.
We are the one who hampers/interferes with
our ability to live our life
the way it needs to be lived.

We have to buy into the program ourselves!
We have to believe in what we are doing--
in what we are here to do--ourselves!
We have to believe in us!
In what is ours to do!

Most of us don't even know what that is,
and couldn't care less.

Those of us who belong in that category
have to start there.
We have to square up with that.
Own it.
Decide what we are going to do about it.
Decide how we are going to respond to it.
There is only ourselves and our life
in this picture,
and what we choose to do about
the relationship between us and our life
is going to make all the difference.
No one can do that for us.
We are up to us.
It is all up to us.
What happens next is our call to make.

There is that which helps us live our life,
and there is that which works against us living our life.
Are we with us and our life?
Are we against us and our life?
Whose side are we on?
Are we buying in?
Or selling out?

If we aren't buying in,
we are selling out.
This is the turning point.
Everything is on the line.
Where are we in relation to our life?



Spiderweb 09/03/2010 02 — Blue Ridge Parkway Near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, September 3, 2020
Everything dries up and blows away
in time.

The things that mean the most to me,
that prop me up
and keep me going,
don't seem to mean anything at all
to anyone I know.

That isn't going to stop them
from meaning the most to me.

Love what you love!
Enjoy what you enjoy!

What's the life span of a spiderweb?
Or of a spider?
Neither of those things
matter to the spider!

Live like it is forever,
you and the things you love!

When I am gone,
and nothing of me remains
and all the things that mean the most to me
have taken their place 
with all that is no more,
and I,
will have done our part,
and that will be that.

In the meantime,
there is life to be lived
before it all dries up
and blows away!

Don't waste a moment
thinking too bad it doesn't last!
Live every one--
every moment--
for all it's worth--
for all you're worth--
as though it is the last moment ever!

Cherish what is here, now!
And live as though you do!

Everything is drying up
and blowing away!

Enjoy it while you can!

Be YOU as long as there is a you to be!
Don't hold anything back!
Look while the light lasts!
Dance while the music is playing!

This is your LIFE!
Live it like it matters to you
that you are alive--
throughout the time left for living!

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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