June 22, 2021

01

Along NY Hwy 30 09/28/2014 05 Oil Paint Rendered — Adirondack Park, Tupper Lake, New York
We can organize our life
mathematically,
logically,
reasonably,
rationally,
inorganically,
imposing order from the top down
and from the outside in.

And, we can organize our life
inorganically,
irrationally,
unreasonably,
naturally,
following the order
from the bottom up
and from the inside out.

We can lay out our life
by the book.
Setting goals and achieving them,
deciding this and not that
from the position of a chess master
moving pieces
in light of a desired end,
making sure that everything 
is done right,
on schedule
exactly as we decree
it is supposed to be.

And, we can live our life as it comes,
as a stream finds its way to the sea,
not knowing where it is going
or why we are doing it like this
and not like that,
and being surprised and amazed
by everything that happens,
unplanned and unexpected
all along the way,
arriving at the sea
in a "Wow! I never imagined all This!"
kind of realization,
stunned at how it all came together
to produce what it became.

We can have a plan for our life
that has nothing to do
with our life's desire for itself.

We can force,
compel,
and contrive
our way to where we think
we ought to be.
And we can listen and watch,
and respond to what needs to happen,
when it needs to happen,
the way it needs to happen,
and wait to see
where we are going
and how we are going to get there.

How we do it tells the tale.

What is guiding our boat
on its path through the sea?

–0–

02

Bayou Teche 02/10/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Beaux Bridge, Louisiana
The Way has a mind of its own.
It calls us to respond faithfully
to its direction and drift,
its current and flow,
moment-to-moment
in each situation as it arises--
doing what is needed,
when it is needed,
the way it is needed,
because it is needed,
and then moving on 
to what is needed now...

"The Spirit is like the wind
that blows where it will."

The Spirit is like a man
"reaping where he did not sow,
and gathering where he did not scatter seed."

Who knows what is next
with The Way of the Spirit
calling us to respond faithfully
to its direction and drift,
its current and flow,
moment-to-moment
in each situation as it arises?

To live like that is to
sit loose in the saddle
and be light on our feet,
ready for anything at any time,
free of all doctrine and dogma,
theology, dharma, expectation,
conjecture, inference, presumption
and opinion.

Like a bird on the wing,
a feather in the wind,
a cork on the water,
a bee in a field of flowers--
knowing what's now,
with no idea of what's next,
waiting,
watching,
listening
to see.

To live like that 
is to live meditatively, 
prayerfully,
attentively,
mindfully aware
of what is happening now
and what needs to happen in response,
moment-by-moment,
in each situation as it arises,
all our life long.

–0–

03

Bog River Falls 02 09/24/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Adirondack Park, Tupper Lake, New York
We have to do what is good
whether it does any good or not--
and go on doing it,
moment by moment,
in each situation as it arises,
all our life long.

This is the Sisyphean Task 
that all of us are given at birth.
We roll this rock up and down the hill
our livelong life.

A good life is the result of
right seeing,
right hearing,
right knowing,
right understanding,
right doing and 
right being--
in each situation as it arises
for as long 
as there are situations to arise.
With no times-out
and no days off.

All that is in it for us
is the joy of doing it
and the gladness of having done it.

The only thing keeping us from doing it
is wanting something else,
something different,
something better,
something more.

This is the story of Adam and Eve
in the Garden of Eden.
Eden's redemption
is the story of Jesus
in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Our role is to move from Adam and Eve
to Jesus
in our lifetime.
To redeem Eden
by way of Gethsemane.

Living each moment the way it needs to be lived,
for the joy of doing it
and the gladness of having done it.

That is all there is to it.

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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