March 24, 2021


Moraine Lake Monochrome Oil Paint Rendered — Banff National Park, Alberta
We have to do it
because it needs to be done,
and not because of what
we stand to gain from doing it.

Intrinsic and extrinsic weigh in 
at this point,
and we cannot be swayed 
by the value the deed 
has for us personally.

We have no stake in the matter.
Is it called for is the question.
Is it necessary/needed is the other question.
Is it important that it be done is the other question.
Am I capable of doing it is the other question.
Is it mine to do is the other question.
What is stopping me from doing it is the other question.
What is urging me to do it is the other question.
What is controlling/influencing my response here ITOQ.
Why the hesitation is the other question.
Why are you taking so much time with this ITOQ.

We are to live so in tune with the moment of our living
that our response to the need of the moment
is automatic,
and sincere,
with nothing contrived or calculated
about it.


If we have to think about it,
we are not seeing clearly.
What is in the way?
What is blocking our vision?
What are our concerns/conflicts?
What is preventing us 
from being at one with the moment?

We have to be able to read the moment.
To see what we look at.
To know what is before us.
To sense what is going on.

We have to be able to access the moment
accurately and instantly
and be right about it.

What can prevent us from being right about it?
Make inquiries.
Ask, seek, knock.
Poke, pry, peer.
Get the information necessary
to know what is going on.

Is the moment what it appears to be?
Do we sense that something is amiss?
What is awry?
Who is not here with us in good faith?
Who is playing the game of not playing a game?
Who is lying?
Who is manipulating the situation for their good?

What is needed here, now?
What is being asked of us?

we have to wait for the mud to settle
and the water to clear.

Perhaps we are being called to sit tight,
to wait and watch,
to sense and see what is going on.

At times, what is called for
is doing nothing.
And, it can be a cop-out to do so.
So, we have to be aware of all things
on all levels
at all times.

It asks a lot of us.
But what is more important
than seeing, hearing, understanding, knowing
in order to be and to do?

Awareness guides action.
Take your time--
there is no time to waste!

Because there is no time to waste,
we take our time
to be sure we are not wasting time,
and to act when the time for acting
is upon us.



Peach Blossoms 03/23/2021 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Springs Farm, Fort Mill, South Carolina, an iPhone photo
There is what we like
and what we do not like,
what we want 
and what we do not want.

We can't have one without the other.

It's like this:
Everything depends upon
our growing up.
And we do not want to grow up.

Growing up means facing,
squaring to and dealing with
what we do not want
and what we do not like.

But we had rather not.

See the problem?

We cannot get to where we want to be
without going through
what we do not want to go through.

This is called The Essential Quandary.
It is also called The Child's Dilemma. 
We never outgrow it.
We never grow up enough
to grow beyond it.

There is always what we do not like
and what we do not want.

We have to get up 
and do
what we do not want to do
whether we want to or not.


It is the Sisyphean Task.

Everything flows from how well we do it.




Morning Dove 05 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Scenes from my hammock, Indian Land, South Carolina
Having nothing to offer anyone
is apparently the sine qua non 
of the bearers of truth in all times and places.

The Suffering Servant of Isaiah comes to mind.
Jesus of Nazareth and John the Baptist are there.
The Buddha,
Lao Tzu,
Nelson Mandela,
Martin Luther King, Jr...
The list is long.

The hidden, 
the overlooked, 
the ignored,
the despised, 
the disappeared...

They are as truth is,
and become symbols
of truth unseen, unknown,
in every age.

and the carriers of truth,
are not flamboyant,

They are all as one Thus Come.
They are just as they are:
everyday human beings
with nothing special about them
that would separate them
from anyone else.

And they are fine with that.

They do their work,
which no one notices,
because why would they?
And step back,
letting nature take its course,
with nothing at stake in the outcome.

Nobodies with nothing at stake in the outcome.
Just doing their work
and letting that be that.
Letting it be enough to put in a day,
doing what needs to be done
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
without fanfare or to-do,
which is the way it needs to be.

We aren't here for what we get out of it.
We are here to do our work
and stand aside.
Doing what is called for
in each situation as it arises. 
And going home for a meal,
a shower 
and to bed.
To rise and do it again the next day.

living with balance and harmony
without looking to exploit
their opportunities 
for gain and advantage--
just living for what the moment is worth
and enjoying what is to be enjoyed
about every day.

The secret for having it made.

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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