December 01, 2020

Mute Swans 02 08/16/2019 — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina
It comes down to attitude.
Outlook.
Viewpoint.
Perception.
Perspective.

How we look limits what we see,
casts what we see
in a favorable or unfavorable light,
tilts the table for or against,
pro or con,
my way or the highway.

We tend to see in ways 
that favor what we favor
and disfavor what we disfavor.

We are how we look
at what we see.

Tell me what you see and how you see it
and I will tell you who you are.

So, start with a mirror,
looking at you.
What memories come to mind
that cant you in a particular direction
with regard to yourself.

You remember the things
that justify your view of things.
That justify your view of you.

When I ask you to "look at all there is
about you,"
you won't scratch the surface.
You will look at all the things 
you always see about you.
You cannot see any of the things
that do not support your view of yourself.

The same thing applies to your view 
of everything and everyone in your life.
You cannot see them for all of the things
you already see about them
that get in your way of seeing
all there is to see.

You cannot see all there is to see
about anything.

You see only your viewpoint,
your perspective,
your perception,
your attitude,
about everything you look at.
Which prejudices your outlook.

Now listen to me:
We have to get beyond how we see things!
We have to get ourselves out of the way!
We have to look at everything
as though we are seeing it 
for the first time!

Here's the way to do that:
Draw a mental frame around everything
you look at.
Set it apart from everything else.
Memories, impressions, ideas, presumptions,
assumptions, inferences, what you know
and what you think you know...
Filter all of it out,
so that it is just you looking at 
what is in the frame
as though you have never seen it,
or anything like it,
ever.

Sit or stand before it in the silence
of compassionate presence
and allow it to show you who
and what it is.

Allow it to transition from "it"
to "Thou."
And go where you are being led.

–0–

02

Eagle Cliff Falls Panorama 09/20/2015 — Montour Falls, New York
What are your gifts?
What do you do with them?

That is all you need to know.
What your gifts are,
and what to do with them.

Then it is just a matter of doing
what needs to be done
with the gifts that are yours to share.

–0–

01

Koi Pond 01 05/24/2018 –Pike Nursery, Charlotte, North Carolina, from my Symbols of Transformation Collection
Everything serves our destiny.

It helps to tell ourselves that,
no matter what happens.

The things we don't think we need,
the things we don't want,
the things we hate with all our heart,
not to mention our mind,
our soul,
our strength,
our essence
and our convenience,
are serving our destiny,
as surely as the things that please us
to no end,
stoke our gladness
delight our mothers
and fill our fathers with pride
are.

The question is:
How are we going to respond to them?
What are we going to do with them?
Are we going to see them--
understand them,
interpret them--
in ways that shift us
off the Me And What I Want Track,
and put us squarely in the center
of My Destiny And How I Need To
Align Myself With It Track?

If everything that happens
is serving our destiny,
but we aren't,
we have a problem.

And our destiny has a problem.

Our destiny's only problem ever
is getting our whole-hearted cooperation.

If we aren't living intentionally,
deliberately,
consciously
in the moment-to-moment,
situation-by-situation,
day-by-day
service of our destiny,
we are striving uselessly 
to heave our own ideas for our life
into place
in order to live happily ever after.

And creating hell for ourselves
and everyone we know.

We are swimming against the current,
spitting into the wind,
digging holes in solid granite,
and free-falling into the void
through one wasteland after another.

Not so smart.

Everything that happens to us 
serves our destiny
by trying to wake us up.

And it is going to keep
trying to wake us up
until we die.

We can wake up or not.
It is up to us.

If we think maybe waking up
might be a good idea,
we start the work of waking up
by asking ourselves,
What is my life trying to tell me?
And all of the questions
that question stirs to life.

Asking all of the questions 
that beg to be asked
leads us to seeing things
in ways we have never seen them before.

And seeing things differently
opens doors we never knew were there.
And sooner than you may imagine,
we find ourselves in the middle
of the Promised Land,
listening for what is being called for
in each situation as it arises,
without trying to impose our will
for the situation on the situation,
but looking for how we can be helpful
in ways that need what we have to offer,
situation-by-situation,
moment-by-moment,
throughout the time left for living.

And our destiny takes care of itself.
In a thoroughly magical,
marvelous,
mysterious,
miraculous kind of way.

Without us every doing anything more
than what needs us to do it
here and now
kind of way.

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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