January 01, 2022


Cardinal 01/23/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — The Bog Garden, Greensboro, North Carolina
The way forward
is that of stepping into each situation
and taking care of
the What and the How.
When is now.
Where is here,
Why is generally irrelevant
or cloaked in mystery
too dark and deep
to waste time on,
and reveals itself in time,
if at all, ever
(I have never had a motive
I fully understood,
and, probably, the same is true with you),
so it is nothing we need to explore.

Who is you.

That leaves the What and the How.

Take care of them--
get them right--
and the situation 
will have what it needs
to be what is needed
by the times that are at hand.

Live like this through 
each day of the new year,
and it will be a new world
by year's end--
one day at a time.

Get the What and the How down
and it's a walk through the park
the rest the way.



Boone Fork Flow 08/26/2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
What needs to be done,
here and now,
and How?

Get those two questions right
in each situation as it arises
and your life will be as complete
as any life has any business being.

What here?
What now?

That's all there is to it.

And we get there best,
I think,
through the right kind of emptiness,
the right kind of stillness,
and the right kind of silence.

We do not go get it.
We wait for it to come to us.

What, here, now and how, that is.

When they brought
"the woman taken in adultery"
(What about the man???
Why do men get off free
as a new-born breeze???
This is a problem still today,
and it throws me up 
just thinking about it--
just so you know)
to Jesus and asked him,
"Do we stone her to death, or not?"
The story goes,
"And Jesus squatted on the ground
and drew lines in the sand,"
before he rose and delivered 
his utterly brilliant,
"Let the one who is sinless
cast the first stone" line.
And the crowd (Of men)
drifted away one by one.

Squatting on the ground,
aimlessly drawing in the sand
was Jesus' way of waiting
for What and How to come to him.

Being empty.
Being still.
Being silent.
Allowing the noise of the world
to drop away,
so the light might arise
on its own.

We assist the light
by getting out of the way,
"clearing a space,"
and waiting for clarity.

The words surprised Jesus
as much as anyone else.

When in doubt,
which, with me, 
is most of the time,
Be empty.
Be still.
Be quiet.
And wait for the path
to come to you.

Of the three,
emptiness is the hardest 
to achieve,
and takes the most practice
to perfect.

Empty is empty of everything.
Including the desire to be empty.

If you think that is easy,
give it a spin.
You will find that it is a way of life
more than a momentary exit from life.
It is a way of being in the world,
apart from the world.


Takes practice.


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: