June 19, 2021

01

Ferry 10/30/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Silver Lake/Pamlico Sound, Ocracoke Island, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
"Judge not" doesn't mean "Don't know what's what."
It means "Don't find fault."
"Don't demean,
condemn,
belittle,
dismiss,
reject,
abhor..."

Distinguishing,
recognizing,
discerning...
are necessary
aspects
of finding our way.

If one house is as good as another
who knows where they would sleep at night,
or take shelter,
or shut out the world?

If one book were as good as another...
You see the problem.

Seeing what we look at
is seeing how things are different
and how they are alike.
Emphasizing the differences
or the similarities
makes for a one-sided world
divided between us and them.

Do not judge
means
do not create sides.
Do not play favorites.
Do not create divisions.
Seek the good of everyone equally.

Equality is the given.
To disparage equality
is to make things worse for some,
and the goal is 
to make things better for all.

If you aren't here for that,
you are doing terrible damage.
and if you don't care about that,
you are someone no one can trust,
creating disruption and chaos
wherever you go.

And so, we have Juneteenth.

–0–

02

Queen Anne’s Lace 01 05/18/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Starkville, Mississippi
Living in the moment
is making the moment
the best it can be,
by doing what needs to be done there,
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done--
knowing that we are the one
who says what that is,
and striving to be right about it
by looking and listening
to the point of
seeing and hearing,
and allowing that to guide us
into knowing what's what,
and what is being called for
and trusting ourselves 
to respond appropriately--
sincerely and spontaneously--
with the gifts,
genius,
daemon (sounds like "diamond"),
specialties,
etc.
that are a part of our original nature.

Living this way moment-to-moment,
makes wherever we are a good place to be
for everyone in each moment.

If you can do better than that, do so!

–0–

03

Day Lily 04 06/05/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Indian Land, South Carolina
Taking stock includes assessing 
our degree of balance and harmony,
which includes our peace and contentment,
and the presence/absence of 
destabilizing influences. 

A related area for examination/exploration
is the degree to which
our life-as-we-live-it allows/permits
the free expression of our original nature,
so that we are able to relate to other people
in ways that are natural to us,
responding to situations as they arise
with sincerity and spontaneity,
and living authentically engaged
with what is called for 
in light of the good of the situation as a whole.

How free are we to be who we are
within the circumstances
of our life every day?

How fully do we belong 
to the life we are living?

How comfortably do we fit
what we are doing?

In what ways are our spirit, vitality, 
élan vital and
joie de vie enhanced or diminished
by the nature of the life we live?

What can we do differently
to be more in sync with ourselves
and aligned with the way that is
truly our way
in each situation as it arises
day by day?

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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