November 25, 2020

04

Trees Panorama 03 10/25/2019 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina
Boredom is not a call for 
"Action, any kind of action!",
but an invitation 
to sit still and be quiet.

We are forever passing up silence
for action--
and therein lies the problem.

"Action, any kind of action,"
is distraction,
diversion,
addiction--
addiction to noise,
to distraction
and diversion.

We live for entertaining pastimes,
and have no intention 
of meeting what meets us 
in the silence,
and dealing with what must be dealt with,
and doing what needs to be done.

We live for the "action, any kind of action,"
that keeps us going
and saves us from the silence
that requires us to face 
the truth of who we are
and how it is with us.

We don't much like ourselves
and do not enjoy our own company--
and seek relief from
all that is so unsatisfactory
about us
in "action, any kind of action!"

Living is like dying,
any way we look at it.
Doing what it takes to be alive
is like dying.
And refusing to do what it takes 
to be alive
is like dying.

One way of dying comes with resurrection
attached.
The other way of dying is to be dead
until we die.

I say if we are gong to die either way,
we may as well get something out of it,
and go with meeting ourselves in the Silence,
and doing what is required to be alive.

Even though it is like dying,
it is the doorway to life.

Being fully alive,
with life spilling over,
pouring out,
is "right there,"
waiting for us to show up
and say,
"We're looking for action,
any kind of action.
Can you help us with that?"

–0–

03

Fall Fern 11/24/2020 — Indian Land, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo
There is only knowing what your "thing" is,
and doing it.
Knowing what makes your little heart sing,
and doing it.
Knowing what is meaningful for you,
and doing it.
Knowing what you love,
and doing it.

How long as it been?
How long will it be
before you work it into your life?

That is your life!

The rest of your life 
consists of what all doing that leads to
and what it takes to support
your doing it.

If your life is renting a horse
and jumping obstacles, 
rent a horse and jump obstacles,
and let everything else
fall into place around that.

Everything. Else.

–0–

02

Sweetgum Fall 11/24/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo
My best advice has not changed over time:

Sit still,
be quiet,
wait for the mud to settle
and the water to clear.

See what arises from the silence.
What calls you to action.
What compels you to act.

What you do about it 
tells the tale
that is waiting to be told.

At this point,
at every point,
your future is entirely 
up to you.

–0–

01

Goodale Mirror Panorama 01 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina
Freedom is not having anyone
telling us what to do,
what to like and not like,
what to see
and how to see it...

We want to be free to choose,
or not,
all of that for ourselves.

As if.

We are not--not one of us is--
free to choose what we like
and don't like,
what we want 
and don't want,
how we see
and how we don't see,
what is important
and what does not matter at all...

Anymore than we are free
to choose our destiny,
or how we will respond to it,
or our taste in pizza,
or when we will be in the mood for it,
or any of our preferences
and proclivities,
or our interests
and our lack of interests...

We have no say in who we are,
or how we are.

"Free will"
is such a hoax.
We are not free to will anything
other than what we will.

"Freedom of choice"
is another one.

We are not free to choose our choices.

We are not free to choose what we want.
Or what we don't want.

We are not free to live
anyway we please
because we are not free
to choose what pleases us
and what does not.

We are as bound to who we are
and how we exhibit that in our life
as a leopard is to its spots
and a spider is to the web it spins.

Enough of the free will myth!

Stop trying to have your way
and put your effort into 
having it not!

Real freedom is walking away
from your idea of you,
and embracing the you
that is calling you into its service!

We get to choose our masters!
It is the only choice we have!

Who is guiding your boat
on its path through the sea?

What is the source of the good
you call good?

What is the essence of you
that you are asked to exhibit,
to incarnate,
to serve with your life?

Our quest is to know these things,
to grow up against our will,
and to be, at last,
who we are--
and have been
since before we were born!

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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