September 2, 2020

01

Goodale 11/04/2018 18 Panorama — Adams Mill Pond, Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina
We can make too much of anything.
Sincerity and authenticity, for instance.

What is called for is the question,
and "Always do it this way!" 
is not always valid,
or fitting to the occasion.

"Always do what is called for!"
fits every occasion.
It is the only thing that does.

I have gay friends who are married
with children,
who feel as if they have betrayed themselves
and are being inauthentic and disingenuous,
are living a lie,
and should have come out early on
and been real from the start.

I ask them to look at the life they have lived,
and to imagine who they could have been
better partnered with,
and how the world would be better off
without their children in it,
and consider that "walking two paths at the same time"
is an eternal and everlasting
condition of life
and requirement for living,
and to shut up with their whining
until "the mud settles
and the water clears,"
and they know with unparalleled certainty
that their situation is calling for 
them to come out and be real.

No one knows what will be called for.
Everyone lives with the burden of knowing
what that is in each situation as it arises
and of doing what is needed
when the time is right
and letting the outcome be the outcome.

We live moment-to-moment.
We do not know what will be called for
from one moment to the next.
Our responsibility consists of being clear
and courageous--
which is really one thing:
Clarity creates courage.

Clarity is all we ever need,
and it is rarely what we think it will be,
or ought to be.
We are likely to be shocked and surprised
at what is being asked of us.
And walking two paths at the same time
is frequently the best of our available options.

And, what that will mean,
and how we work it out in our life,
is one of the great challenges
and lasting adventures
along the way
of being alive.

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, three sons-in-law, and five granddaughters, and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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