March 19, 2021,

02

Cullasaja Cascade 01 10/19/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Cullasaja River Gorge, Nantahala National Forest, Franklin, North Carolina
The way we go about our business impacts, 
for better or worse, 
the way other people go about their business. 

The way we live 
encourages or discourages 
those around us. 

We live for one another 
as well as for ourselves. 

We have responsibilities that extend far beyond us, 
to encompass the entire planet. 
What we do
—and how we do it—
matters! 

We owe it to each other to grow up, 
bear the pain of being alive, 
and do what we can 
with what we have to work with 
in offering what we have to give 
to the context and circumstances 
of our lives 
moment-by-moment, 
situation-by-situation, 
day-in-and-day-out, 
regardless of how we feel, 
or what we want, 
or how we wish things were.

Whether we want to or not 
for no other reason than because 
everything depends on it—
and if we don't, 
it creates reverberations 
that influence the way things are 
throughout the cosmos. 

And if you don't believe that, 
why don't you? 

Everything turns on our believing that 
and living as though it is so! 
Every. 
Single. 
Thing. 

We carry that much power with us 
into every single day. 

–0–

01

American Robin 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Scenes From My Hammock, Indian Land, South Carolina
We have an idea—
a model—
a template—
a paradigm—
a mock-up in our mind—
of how things ought to be. 

And we keep trying to arrange reality 
to fit our ideal for reality. 
And the two don't mesh. 
And here we are. 

The disparity between how we want things to be 
and how things are is the reason 
for the way things are—
and for all of the addictions 
that have ever been 
or will be. 

We cannot bear the pain of our dismay, 
and medicate our agony 
with any of the 10,000 
(And by now there must be 10 billion, 
or a billion billion, 
distractions/diversions—
and war is a great one) 
addictions that keep us going 
under the weight of the burden that cannot be borne: 

We cannot have what we want. 
And we can't stand it. 

Of course, the alternative is growing up. 
Brushing it off, 
and stepping back into the next moment 
as though nothing happened. 

And, that's easy because 
with a slight shift in perspective, 
nothing did happen. 
We just can't have our way. 
So what? 
Happens all the time. 
Throughout the natural world. 

"The big fish eat the little fish, 
but the little fish swim 
through the mesh in the nets 
that take the big fish to the cannery." 

That is the fundamental law of life. 
Everything has its comeuppance. 
We all meet our Waterloo, 
our Russian Winter. 
There are no free rides to Glory Land. 
We all pay the fare to ride the ride. 

Grow up. 
Get over it. 
Flip the switch. 
Turn the light around! 

Which means: Change Your Perspective! 

Growing up is nothing more than a shift in perspective. 
We were looking at it like that, 
and now we are looking at it like this. 
That. Is. All. There. Is. To. It. Ever. 
So, what's so hard about that? 

We want our way NOW! 
That is what is so hard about our life. 

It is the stupidest thing about us. 

And it is the only thing 
standing between us 
and the life that might yet be. 

But. 
We have to stand up. 
Brush it off. 
And get back in the next moment 
as though nothing happened—
because nothing did happen. 
We just grew up some more again. 

"Nothing to it but to do it" 
(Maya Angelou).

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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