October 06, 2021

01

Light on Grandfather Mountain 12/12/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Price Lake, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Everything is waiting for the time to act.

That is not true.

In a perfect world,
everything would wait for the time to act,
and our world is far from that.

In our world,
we go to the loo
when it is convenient,
whether or not we need to go.

As if!

That is the way it would work
in our world
if it could work that way.

In our world, wait to go to the loo
long past the time to go to the loo,
because it is convenient that way.

The way it works in our world,
and the way we will it to work
are not smoothly synchronized. 

The way we will it to work
gets top billing.
And that is why it doesn't work
any better than it works.

We don't have time to wait around
for the time to be right.

And here we are.

This is what living like that
gets us.

We talk about "island time"
in a disparaging way
because it gets in our way
when we are on the island.

"Island time" was there
before there were islands.
And long before there were people
on the islands.

"Island time" knows when it is time
for what,
without caring what time it is.

"Island time" is kairos.
The propitious time.
The time tomatoes ripen on the vine,
and eggs hatch,
and babies to be born.

Chronos is clock time, 
calendar time,
time to go or be late time,
time to be there time.

Chronos is "What time is it now?"
Kairos is "What is it time for now?"

We know all about chronos.
Our world runs on chronos.
We know practically nothing about kairos.
And care even less.

And here we are.

–0–

02

Coots Scooting 04/20/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Ace Basin National Wildlife Refuge, Hollywood, South Carolina
Our work is to align ourselves physically
with what it is time for spiritually.

This is the essence of balance and harmony.

We wait for the time to be right for action.

Right action at the wrong time is wrong action.

The ancient word understood
that the visible world
rests upon,
and is upheld by
the invisible world.

Life in the visible world
is governed by the time for acting
which is the province of the invisible world.

When the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote
"There is a time to be born
and a time to die...
and a time for every matter under heaven,"
everyone understood that to be the case,
and they knew that to act "out of time"
was to invite the wrath of the Other World.

Planting time
and harvesting time
were carefully observed.
Only to be trashed forever
by the Semites pouring in
from the desert to overturn
and destroy all that was 
in their way.

This was the Clash of the Ways.
The people of the land
observed a Way 
that was not the Way of the invaders
from the steppes and desert.
Their Way was the Way they said
was the Way.
And they had the will and the might
to force their Way upon the Way
of the natural world
And the "Fill the earth and subdue it" theme
became the operational ground of existence
from then to now.

But the propitious time bided its time,
and things went from bad to worse with time,
and here we are,
having to find our way back 
to the recognition of the importance
of the time that is at hand
while there still remains time
to turn the light around,
and live in accord with the right time
for doing what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises--
individually and collectively,
before time is up.

–0–

03

Coots Scooting too! 04/20/2014 — Ace Basin National Wildlife Refuge, Hollywood, South Carolina
Knowing what it is time for,
and doing it--
where it needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises,
is the essence--the sine qua non--
of existence.

We are here to do that!
And to do it
"Without hope,
without witness,
without reward"
(Steven Moffat, "Dr. Who).

That is the key to all that follows!

And, it is the heart-and-soul of the Tao.

Living in full accord with--
aligned with,
with filial allegiance 
and liege loyalty to--
the times that are at hand
in each situation as it arises,
is the best we all can do
exactly what we are capable of doing,
and what we have absolutely
no regard for at all.

And that is the kink in the hose.

–0–

04

Cades Cove Methodist Church 02/28/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend, Tennessee
We live to harmonize ourselves
in relation to ourselves,
other people, 
and the context and circumstances
of our life--
to balance the opposites,
integrate the contraries,
maintain the creative tension
between the mutually exclusive contradictions,
and walk two paths at the same time.

We can do that only by
sitting still,
being quiet,
and paying attention
to all that arises in the silence--
looking for what resonates with us
in the present moment of our life,
and seeing how we might
incorporate that in the way
we go about living here and now.

To do that,
we have to empty ourselves
of the profit motive
and dispense with concerns
for our advantage,
our benefit,
our gain,
our way
and what's in it for us,
and simply open ourselves
to what the situation is calling for--
for what needs to be done,
when and where and how,
and how we might comply with that
using the gifts/daemon/shtick/specialties/etc.
that belong to our original nature,
for the joy of doing it,
and the satisfaction of having done it.

And on to the next situation,
where we repeat this process
throughout the time left for living.

The complete lack of appeal
for this approach to life
leaves us where we are,
and where we have been,
since Adam and Eve left Eden.

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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