July 17, 2021


Kiva Ladder 09/22/2007 Oil Paint Rendered — Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Honor the Mystery!
That is the essential orientation,
and we spend our entire life
learning what it requires--
and prohibits.

It means abandoning the idea of God,
for one thing.

Treating the Mystery 
as though it is God
is to fail to honor the Mystery.

God has those Ten Commandments,
and his (sic) Chosen People,
and his merit system
for earning his favor
and deserving the accolade,
"Well done, good and faithful servant!
Enter into the joy of your Master!"

The Mystery is not anyone's "Master,"
and does not hand out rewards
and punishments
like some Dandy slave owner would do it.

There is nothing to be gained
and nothing to be lost with the Mystery.
It is all to be enjoyed
and relished
with wonder
and delight.

Life is its own reward,
or its own punishment,
depending on how we live it,
but there is no merit involved.
It is all a matter of attitude,
of perspective,
and of how we do it.

Sincerely, spontaneously,
with no contrivance whatsoever
is how to do it.

Just being here, now,
seeing what's what,
knowing what is happening
and what is called for in response,
and doing what needs to be done
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done
because it needs to be done--
without keeping score
or even noticing what we are doing,
just seeing what's what
and doing what needs to be done,
all our life long--
with joy in what we are doing
(Using our gifts/daemon/virtues/specialties/shtick
to share and serve moment to moment),
and with satisfaction for having done it.


To do that is to honor the Mystery.
To fail to do that is to miss the point of our life.
To be wrong about what is important.
And to wander lost in the wasteland of discontent forever.

Live to honor the Mystery!



Cypress Knees 08/12/2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Black Lake, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana
To take away a woman's right to abort her pregnancy
is to force her to remain pregnant against her will.

Oppression hides in denial
behind the phrase "sanctity of life."

Sanctity of life serves and supports COVID vaccines.

Sanctity of life serves and supports gun control measures,
including restricting the types of weapons sold
and the places weapons can be carried.

Sanctity of life serves and supports democracy's promise
of Liberty, Truth, Justice, Equality
for all people--with no discrimination or bias between/among people of any kind, at all, ever.

Sanctity of life serves and supports a livable minimum wage,
affordable health care,
affordable housing,
affordable education through undergraduate school,
affordable child care,
and an atmosphere in which people are honored and respected
and welcomed with kindness and compassion,
and allowed to go about their life
without harm or threat of harm,
and with good faith and genuine care and concern.

Sanctity of life serves and supports an atmosphere/environment
in which people are free to live their life in ways commensurate
with self-awareness, self-development, self-discipline
and personal responsibility,
knowing where they stop and others start,
minding their own business and tending their own affairs,
without intrusion, harassment, intimidation or mistreatment
from other people--
with liberty and justice for all--
where all of our freedom ends where our responsibilities begin.



False Hellebore 02 04/30/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Floyd, Virginia
Things have to play themselves out.

No one is in control.
No one is in charge.
No one is in command. 

Everything depends upon everything else.
Nothing can happen until something else does.

It's a complete mystery
how anything gets done.

Pace and timing, Kid.
Pace and timing.

Time and chance, Kid.
Time and chance.

Nothing can happen before its time.
In the meantime,
it is always the right time for something.

Our place is to discern/perceive
what it is time for here and now,
and to live in the service
of what needs to happen here and now,
doing what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
where it needs to be done,
how it needs to be done
because it needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises,
all our life long.

Each situation represents
a birthing and a dying
in that we die to our will 
for the situation,
and bring to life 
what is needed in the situation,
at the expense of our own desires.

We submit to the situation
in a "thy will, not mine, be done"
kind of way,
with the "Thy" being the need 
of the situation as a whole.

We belong to the time and place 
of our living,
and live there to share and serve
the gifts/daemon/virtues/specialties/shtick 
that are ours to bring forth
for the good of the whole--
for the joy of what we are doing,
and the satisfaction of having done it.

In so doing,
we participate in the playing out
of what is being played out--
in the coming forth
of what is struggling to come forth,
in the making real
of what needs to be made real,
and in the wonder of miracle, magic
and mystery
that constitutes the heart of life and being,
that happens of itself,
the way all play happens.

The cosmos is the cosmos' way
of playing with itself.
And it is our place to be a 
willing, cooperative, part 
of the dance of life and being.

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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