November 10, 2021


Aho Valley Panorama 02 11/05/2021 — Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone, North Carolina
"Adjustment and accommodation, Kid.
Adjustment and accommodation."

That's the recurring experience
of life as it is 
throughout our life.

Life takes a lot of getting used to.

We never get things the way 
we want things to be
for long.

Something is always coming along
to decimate this,
destroy that,
knock everything over
and laugh on its way out the door,
with "See you again soon,"
and more laughter fading into the distance.

We are always dealing with something
we do not want in our life.
We live between how things are
and how we want things to be
all the way along the way.

If we can come to terms with that--
adjust and accommodate ourselves to that--
we have it made,
as much as we can have it made,
in a world where nothing good lasts for long,
and the bad is always knocking on our door,
and walking out, laughing.

We become accomplished in 
adjustment and accommodation,
or not.

Everything is better
with the right response.
Nothing is so bad
that the we way we respond to it
can't help.

We will never arrange our life
like we like it for long.
We can perfect our response
to what we don't like
to the point where what we don't like
is just another turn in the road.

And every turn in the road
is an opportunity to practice 
our response to turns in the road.

The old story about "The Lost Horse Returns"
is a helpful reminder of the kind of practice
that puts everything in its place
even when everything is scattered and shattered.

If nothing good lasts,
nothing bad lasts either.
Everything is coming or going.
The trick is to let go what's going,
and let come what's coming.
And to respond to everything
in ways appropriate to the occasion.

Amen! May it be so!



Graham Cabin 04 02/11/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
What we have done
with what has happened to us
is not as important 
as what we are doing
and what we will do
with what has happened to us.

We are amassing experience
all along the way--
which may, or may not,
become a source of guidance and direction
through what remains of our life.

Too often, 25, or 50, or 75
years of experience
is actually one year of experience
repeated 25, or 50, or 75 times.

My maternal grandfather 
was "all grown up" when he was 25,
and he lived 84 years.
It happens all of the time.

Mindful awareness and self-transparency
are essential companions along the way.
Experience is a treasure-trove of knowledge
to be examined and explored
as a source of endless reflection
leading to new realizations
and different ways of living.

So don't allow one "mistake"--
or a life full of mistakes--
lock you into a pattern
of one mistake after another.

Take up the practice of sitting 
with your life,
looking for what lessons you have learned,
and what lessons you have missed
that can be redeemed/reinterpreted
and applied to new ways of responding
to similar situations
in your present and future.

We are always in the process
of redeeming our past
by how we respond to our present
and live in our future.

Realization requires reflection,
acknowledgement and reconciliation
in order to produce a future
that is a better place to be
than our past has ever been.

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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