January 03, 2021


Big Creek 11/07/2007 Oil Paint Rendered–Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Waterville, North Carolina
The people who live from their center
have an easier time
maintaining their balance
and harmony
amid the heaving waves
of the wine-dark sea
than the people who have 
no connection with their center
and think that what happens to them
is the sum total of their existence.

What happens to us
is merely the umwelt 
where we discover who we are
and what we are made of.
Where we bring ourselves forth
to meet the time and place
of our living.

WE are the Mystery!
We surprise ourselves!
If you spend any time in quiet reflection
you know there is more to you
than meets the eye.
Our life is where we discover
the content of that More.

We have innate within us
what it takes to rise to any occasion.
Look at all we have come through
as a species!
The people who did all of those things
were not different from us!
We were there within them all!
We are as capable as anyone 
who has ever lived!
It is all right here with us now!

What is your life calling for?
What is this moment asking of you?
You have it!
Stand up!
Step forward!
And watch to see what you do!

Don't think about it!
Do it!
Nothing to it!

You will be shouting,
"Look, Mom! No hands!"
in no time at all!



Schwabacher Reflection 06/21/2001 Oil Paint Rendering — Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, Wyoming
Zen is what happened when Buddhism met Taoism,
and something similar is happening
in the meeting of Christianity with Taoism.
It doesn't have a name yet,
but a Taoist Christianity
is definitely in the making,
and the outcome will be Taoism
with a new "leader/sage"
calling people to accord
with the Tao
in ways that will look a lot like Jesus,
and yet be free off the burdens
of the Doctrines of Original Sin,
Redemption and Atonement,
and the need of a Personal Savior.

I am happy to be a part of that process,
and, in looking back over my career
in the "business" of finding my life
and living it,
I can see that the work
of allowing the mud to settle
and the water to clear,
and saying what I see happening there,
has been what I have been about
from the start.

Everything I have said,
and that has been a lot,
from my ordination in 1970
in the Presbyterian Church in the United States
to its evolution into the PCUSA
has been 50 years 
of reconciling doctrines with experience
and forming--
without being consciously aware
of what I was doing--
a blend of Taoism and Christianity,
with Jesus being another sage
coming forth from the ages
saying, "Look, if you are going 
to do this the way it needs to be done,
you are going to have to pick up
your own cross 
and figure it out for yourself
the way I did,
because that's the only way
it can be done!"

And the beat goes on...

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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