September 26, 2020


Sunset at Silver Lake Watercolor Rendering 10/28/2006 — Ocracoke Island, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
We have to believe in the things
that keep us going.
That is the true test of our faith.
Can it--does it--will it--keep us going?

We go in the service of what we believe in.
People who have lost their faith
go mostly to bars and opioids.

The surest way to not lose our faith
is for it to be grounded--
not in theology or doctrine
or somebody else's beliefs--
but in our own experience
with numinous
(So-called because it is unspeakable,
beyond words)
that has grabbed us,
whammed us,
overwhelmed us,
claimed us
and made us its own.

We can't think up something to believe in.
We have to be stunned into stopping mid-stride
by it.

If we don't have an experience of the Numen
it's because we have insulated ourselves
against it
by living loud, busy, regimented lives.

We have to stop. Look. Listen. Pay attention.
What's the first thing we notice?
Something to make us want to escape
back into busyness most likely.

We run from the Numen
because it lives in a dimension
accessible only by going where we do not want to go.
Past things we do not want to face.
We had rather go to bars and opioids.

It takes the Numen to keep us going.
If we prefer to shut down and quit
that's our business.
But, we need to know we have a choice.

We can sit in the silence,
listening, looking
for what is there with us
beyond the terrors of the darkness.

Trusting in what-we-do-not-know
to call our name
and transform our life.

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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