January 18, 2021

03

The Cascades Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
We live on
to pass on 
what we have learned about living
from living.

The problem with this is
that most of us
merely pass on
what has been passed on to us
from those who passed it along 
from someone who passed it along...
through centuries and eons
of passing along the same old same old stuff,
with no one in the entire chain
ever once examining what they were handed
and asking, "What makes you think this is so?"

We think it is so 
because we have been told it is so.
And we never question anything
because we have been told not to question anything.

What has your life taught you
about being alive?
That is the only thing worth knowing.
The only thing worth passing on.
And we pass it along,
not as though it is gospel truth,
but as a way of saying,
"This is what I have made of what happened to be,
see if you can verify it 
through your own experience."

Teaching people to look at their life,
to listen to their life,
as the most valid source
of what is true
when properly interpreted
and understood,
puts everything on the examination table
and invites questions from all sides.

And that is the essential attitude
in learning what our life has to teach us
about life, and living, and being alive.

Live on to pass it on!
And let that be that!

–0–

02

Sunwapta River 09/21/2006 Oil Paint Rendered — Jasper National Park, Alberta
What would you go to hell for?
What would you go through hell for?
It's the same thing, don't you see?
And we have to be both clear and right
about what is worth going to hell for,
and what is worth going through hell for,
and do it--
time and again,
moment-by-moment-by-moment,
all our life long.

It is death and resurrection all the way--
it is like dying, and like being raised from the dead
all the way!

We have to care enough about the important things
to die for them,
figuratively or literally.
We cannot allow the specter of death
to scare us off,
to scare us out of the life we are
being called to live.

We live meaningless, empty, lives
because we won't die for anything
worth dying for.
We die because we won't die.

We won't die because we think
the wrong things are the most important things.

Living, for example.
Living in the service of the wrong things
is not living at all.

Money, for example.
Wealth and privilege.
Power.
Control.
We give up everything for nothing in return.
And die long before we are dead.

We have to turn the light around here.
We have to sacrifice all the things we think
are important
in the service of the things 
that are actually important.

Being right about what is important
is the most important thing!

What would you go to hell for?
What would  you go through hell for?
Are you right about it being important?

–0–

01

The Other Lone Cypress 01 11/10/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Lake Brandt, Greensboro, North Carolina
The message of the Savior is
"There is no Savior!"

When Jesus said, "If you would be my disciple,
pick up your own cross everyday,
and come with me!"
he was saying,
"A servant of Truth lives to die
in the service of Truth!"

We live to die!
We live to deserve to die!
We live as though every day
is the last day we have to live!

Life is to be spent in the service of Truth!
We are here to live truthfully!
To live truthful lives!
To live a life aligned with its center:
"Like a wheel turning out of its own center!"
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

We live to incarnate
what is deepest, best and truest about us!
We live to be-and-to-do who we are!
We live to be at-one with The Other Within,
and with The Mystery at the Heart of Life and Being!

Our life is our canvas
and we are the artist
painting the truth of existence
with every stroke of the brush.

Passing it on!

We live on to pass life on!
Jesus passed it on!
Everyone who has known
what Jesus knew
passed it on!
Dying in the service
of that which was worth their life!

And so it is said,
"Know what is worth going to hell for,
and be right about it,
and live to go straight to hell
when you die!"

We have to be willing to go to hell
in this sense
to return to Eden.
Eden is where we celebrate
having lived to deserve to die
and go to hell.

If you can understand this,
live on to pass it 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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