November 01, 2020


Sumac 01 10/28/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
What is this moment in our day
asking of us?
What is this time and this place in our life
asking of us?

Sit quietly!
Feel in your body
what this moment in your day,
what this time and place in your life,
are asking of you,
are calling for.

Learn to read the moment
and the times and places of your life--
not to exploit them
or to profit from them,
but to know what is being called for,
what they need from you.

Sincerity and non-contrivance 
are the ways 
of those who do not come to be served
but to serve--
without an eye out for gain or reward.

The thing is to be completely free
to offer what is needed
without strings attached
or hope for some advantage.
Walking freely and unmoved
by hope of personal benefit
into each moment,
in to all times and places,
puts us at the fulcrum,
the pivot point,
of those moments/times/places,
and positions us to lever the present
into a future that is exactly
what is needed for that present place and time.

This is to have an impact for the good
for no reason.
It is being good for nothing.
That kind of boon is the hope of the world.



22-Acre Woods 08 10/25/2020 — Indian Land, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo
In the gospels of Matthew and Mark,
Jesus says contradictory
and mutually exclusive things.

In Matthew 12:30, it is like this:
"Those who are not with us
are against us."

And, in Mark 9:40, it is like this:
"Whoever is not against us is with us."

Leaving us in the lurch,
wondering, "Which way IS it?"

This is the absurdity
of a rule-based system
governing relationships.

There are no static,
rigid ways of structuring communities
or societies. 

The truth is that how we live together
comes down to good faith among us,
and how we individually read a situation
and respond to it.

"Sometimes, it is like this,
and sometimes, it is like that."

When is it what,
and how do we know?

We decide.

It may be this way in this moment
and that way in the next.

and just
have to even out over time--
and that is achieved through
awareness and good faith,
around the circle,
across the table,
but it may not be our turn
as often as we think
it ought to be.

The catch, of course,
is with "good faith."
Good faith is beyond the bounds
of rules and laws.

Rumi said,
"If you aren't here with us in good faith,
you are doing terrible damage."

and good faith
are the things upon which
relationship depends.
And they cannot be forced
or contrived.

And that's the plaque in the veins. 



Earthshadow 10/30/2020 — Indian Land, South Carolina
When Angeles Arrien says,
"Everybody wants to have their way,"
she is saying,
"Everybody needs to grow up."

The Terrible Two's is where this all begins.

Everything would be fine 
if we only had our way--
and we know how that sounds,
so we tack on
"once in a while"
to take the edge off of
our terminal self-centered-ness,
which is the same thing as
our terminal immaturity
as individuals
and as a species.

People of every culture
and of every religion in every culture
have always projected their 
infantile fantasies onto 
their idea of heaven,
where they will be guaranteed
of having their way at last.

The Hero's Journey is the wake-up call
to our whining and complaining.
The Path that has to be our own path
is nothing more than the way to 
maturity and grace.

The Hero's Journey is growing up
and assuming responsibility for
our own life
and sacrificing our way
for the true good of the whole--
in the manner of those who
"come not to be served but to serve,
and to give their lives to the work
of setting others free from themselves
so that all might be here 
for the good of the whole."

Nothing is ever wrong with us
that growing up some more, again,
wouldn't help.

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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