May 01, 2021

01

Dawn Silhouettes 12/06/2014 06 Oil Paint Rendered — Hunting Island State Park, Beaufort County, South Carolina
All it takes is time.
Time will tell.
Everything becomes clear in time.
Time reveals all.

If you don't know what to do,
just wait to see what you should have done,
and you will know better what to do
next time.

Our entire life is a record
of what works,
and what doesn't work--
of what to do,
and what not to do.
All we need to know what to do
and what to leave undone
is right there,
revealed clearly as the mid-day sun
on a cloudless day
for those who look 
with eyes to see.

If we keep making the same mistakes
and ending up in the same place,
we either aren't looking,
or we can't see what we look at.
Which keeps us cycling forever
around the same convictions
that haven't worked
since they were conceived.

Who is responsible for what
we know to be so?
That would be us.
How well does our life bear us out?

Our life is the result
of our believing what we believe.
Dr. Phil would ask,
"How's that working for you?"
We have to be honest here
and see who, or what, we blame.

If it weren't for who or what
how would things be different-better?

What keeps us doing the same things,
expecting a different outcome?
When are we going to look at the evidence
plainly revealed by how things are,
and do things differently next time?

We are the only constant remaining in place
throughout our life.
We are what we have believed and done.
And here we are because of that.

Our life isn't going to change
until we change 
what we believe and do.

You know by now where I am going to say
the answer lies:

Sit down.
Be quiet.
Listen to the silence.
Wait for what emerges,
arises,
appears,
unbidden.

See what it is asking of you.

Decide to do it or not.

And keep following this process
until your life takes a turn for the better.
And keep following it
for as long as life lasts.

–0–

02

Dogwood Lane 04/15/2009 — Greenbriar District, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cosby, Tennessee
We all have the same source,
the same origin,
the same goal.

This is not a competition.
It is not a race.
It is not test 
to see who is best.

We are not in it 
for what we can get out of it.
The only measure of success
is the degree to which 
we help one another
in the work that is ours to do,
individually and collectively:

Seeing,
hearing,
understanding,
knowing,
doing,
being,
becoming.

Becoming what?
Becoming those who 
see,
hear,
understand,
know,
do,
be,
become
those who see...etc.

That's all there is.

Having, owning, possessing,
acquiring, achieving, amassing...
are distractions
that keep us from seeing, hearing, etc.

It's the old Garden of Eden story
being acted out in our lives
over and over throughout time.

What are we doing here?
What are we living for?
What guides our boat 
on its path through the sea?
How do we know what is worth 
our time and attention?
Who says so?
Who is our authority
in determining the right answer
to these questions?
How do we know they know
what they are talking about?

Where do we go from here?

–0–

03

Field Road Panorama 03/18/2018 Oil Paint Rendered — Lancaster County, South Carolina
I could talk myself out of everything.
I come from a long line of ancestors
who never took a chance,
never stepped out of the normal and customary,
never asked questions,
never explored their world,
never wondered,
never imagined,
never created,
always did what they were told,
and made it difficult
for anyone they knew
to be different than they were.

I'm swimming against an ingrained current
to do anything I've never done before.

Maybe you know what I mean.

When I sit quietly and reflect on these things,
I am always brought to the place
of realizing again
that I owe it to myself
to find out if there is anything to be afraid of.

I am reminded again
that I can trust myself 
to have what it takes
to find what I need
to deal with anything 
that comes my way.

I have always done it.
There is no reason to think
that I will suddenly stop
being able to do it.
So, I say to myself,
step into the thing you fear
and see what there is 
that you won't be able to deal with.

And here I am.
Still in business.
Looking for something 
I can't handle.

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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