December 29, 2021

01

Two Trees and Three Chimneys Oil Paint Rendered — Dollar Does Dali
The "IT Factor"
is having what it takes
to do what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises--
for the joy of doing it 
and the delight/satisfaction
of having done it--
all our life long.

IT is doing the right thing
at the right time
in the right place
and the right way,
time after time,
no matter what,
for as long as it takes.

What keeps that from happening?

Everybody can do IT.
Everybody has done IT.
No body does it consistently,
reliably,
dependably
all of the time,
no matter what.

Why not?

It is a combination 
of several factors.

Wanting to/not wanting to
is a big one.
Feeling like it/not feeling like it
is another.
Having better things to do is another.
Being out of sorts is another.
"So what? Who cares? What difference does it/
will it make? Why try? What's the use? 
What's in it for us/me?"
are others.
And a pronounced lack
of the necessary degree
of maturity and grace
is the biggest.

Maturity and Grace are the key
ingredients to everything.
Every. Single. Thing.

IT all comes down to Maturity and Grace.

Without Maturity and Grace to sustain IT,
IT is just a "flash in the pan."

How smoothly and easily is your life going?
Here is what determines/influences that:
How smoothly and easily do you greet,
receive and accept as "just the way it is"
how smoothly and easily your life is going?

It takes Maturity and Grace
to smoothly and easily accept
what is happening in each situation as it arises
as the context within which
we bring forth what is needed,
when it is needed,
the way it is needed,
no matter what,
time after time.

The world, our life, is in the state they are in
because of a glaring deficit in Maturity and Grace,
around the globe.

If you want to improve your life and the world,
develop your capacity for Maturity and Grace
in dealing with what meets you
in each situation as it arises.

In failing/refusing to do that,
we are meeting ice with ice,
and ice trumps everything.

When we are iced in,
we can only wait it out.

Applying the warming combination
of Maturity and Grace
to the situation
assists the thawing conditions
that are necessary
for things to be what they need to be
in the service of life and being.

If you are in a plight, a fix,
a tight place, a mess,
apply a healthy dose of Maturity and Grace
as long as it takes
to turn things around
and bring smooth and easy into play.

–0–

02

Scrapping Fall 13 11/17/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Carolina Thread Trail, 12-mile Creek Segment, Waxhaw, North Carolina
What we want is irrelevant
in comparison to what needs to be done.

I don't care what we feel like doing,
when the baby's diaper needs changing,
change the baby's diaper!

Find the equivalent to the baby's diaper
in each situation as it arises
and respond appropriately.

That is all there is to it.

–0–

03

Fall Woods 04 11/11/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Understanding that we owe fealty to the moment,
that we are to live in fidelity to the moment,
that our liege loyalty and filial devotion
belong to the moment--
to the here and now--
so that our overriding concern
is for what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises,
puts things nicely in their place,
and allows everything to fall out
around our central, binding, allegiance
through all of the times and places
of our living,
all our life long.

It has nothing to do with 
what we want to happen
or what we feel like doing.

It has everything to do with
what needs to happen,
with what needs to be done.

Get that down,
and everything takes shape
rather nicely,
over time.

–0–

04

Gardenia 01 06/02/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Indian Land, South Carolina
What we want is the source of all our difficulties.
We can want what we have no business having.
What has no business being.
Fossil fuel emissions are a case in point,
and the list is long.

Living in the service of what we want
at the expense of everything else
has us where we are today.

We live as though we owe fealty to what we want.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
What we want has to give way
to what needs to happen,
to what is called for,
to what is crying out to be done,
in each situation as it arises.

Racism is another case in point,
where the wants/desires of those in power
have to be sat aside
in homage to the right of all people
to be honored with respect for who they are,
and treated with dignity and equality
in all matters great and small--
regardless of how that might impinge upon
the wants/desires of those in power.

Knowing what deserves/demands our fealty,
and living in its service,
no matter what, 
turns the world around,
and swings things back into balance and harmony,
and makes things as good as they can be
for as long as life shall last.

–0–

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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