November 16, 2021

01

Lake Haigler 11/14/2021 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
People pushing religion through the world
come to my door from time to time,
and when I tell them I am not interested,
they ask me, "Why not?"
I tell them, "I don't care why."

And I don't budge from that position.

If they say, "But, I want to know why!"
I say, "I don't care about that, either."
And if they say, "But, you should care,"
I say, "I don't care about that, either."

If they try to change the subject,
and ask me if I know Jesus,
I hold up an index finger,
and say, "Jesus and I are like that."
Their interest begins to wane about then,
and they go to the next house.

If they tell me I'm going to hell,
I tell them, "I don't care about that, either."

–0–

02

The Promise 08/28/2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Bass Lake, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Emotional reactivity limits our ability
to respond appropriately
to each situation as it arises.

And it increases the level
of noise and complexity in our life.

The path to balance and harmony
is walked best by those 
who live with the proper degree
of separation between themselves
and their circumstances.

Joseph Campbell was a world class
distance runner in his college days
at Columbia.
He attended a track meet later in life,
and said he had to refuse future repeats
of that experience
"because it created too much within
that I had to control."

The Dalai Lama maintains his composure
by not attending automobile races,
among a long list of other activities.

Emotional arousal and reactivity
are addictions rivaling alcohol
for number of participants 
on a regular basis.

People cannot sit still and be quiet
for long, or often,
"because it creates too much within"
they can't control.

We are responsible for the life we live,
and for the life we refuse to live.

Who we are is who we will ourselves to be.

We live for the action,
or for the stillness and the silence.
And the choices we make
tell the tale.

–0–

03

The Pier on Cane River 05/12/2004 Oil Paint Rendered — Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana
We cannot see anything
without interpretation,
evaluation,
judgment,
opinion,
association,
reaction...

Without concealing it
beneath ideas about 
what it is
and what it is not.

We cannot see what it is
for seeing what we see that it is.

We know all we need to know about it
before it says, or does, anything.

So much for impartiality
and nonpartisan,
open mindedness
and unbiased appraisals
of everyone and everything in existence.

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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