October 26, 2021


Split-rail Fence 04/08/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina
Making the best 
of what we are handed 
in a day
means letting a lot of it go.

Betrayal? Let it go.
Neglect? Let it go.
Abandonment? Let it go.
Let it all go--

in the strength of our own
resiliency and resolve,
grounded upon our unshakable faith
in ourselves 
and our ability
to find what we need
to do what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises
within our inexhaustible store
of courage,
and vitality.

Which are fundamental
to our original nature
and are inherent
in the species.

We did not get here
through all of the experiences
we have survived as a species
without having what it takes
to take life as it comes
day after day,
and do what can be done with it!

We have what it takes!
To do what needs to be done with this,
and with the next thing,
and the thing after that!

The trick,
as Benjamin Hoff points out
(In his book, "The Te of Piglet"),
is remaining focused
on what is needed here and now,
and not being hijacked into 
escalating fantasies
based on what if then and there.

What is!
Not what if!

We got here through all we have
faced and dealt with
asking, "What is happening?
What is it calling us to do in response?
And doing it,
One situation at a time.

These are the Six Questions
and One Action
required of each of us
by every situation that arises
all our life long.

Anyone who gets caught up
in the endless stream of
"What if this? What if that? 
And what if That?
And what if That Over There?...
does not have what it takes
to do what must be done
with what remains of their life,
much less be helpful companions
to the rest of us
over the time left for living.

That leaves it up to us.

How are you coming along?



Orange Flame Azalea 01 04/21/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Indian Land, South Carolina
Jesus took himself seriously.

Jesus did what needed to be done
in each situation as it arose.

Jesus bore well his contradictions
and inconsistencies.

Jesus died being true to himself
within the context and circumstances
of his life,
the times and places of his living.

The number of his followers
I can say these things about
is statistically irrelevant.

The people who make such noise
about believing in Jesus
without being Jesus
the way only they can be Jesus
in each situation as it arises
are obscenities and obstructionists
to the cause of Jesus
and will, as Jesus would say,
"get their reward."

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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