January 22, 2022


Lower Antelope Canyon 26 05/18/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Paige, Arizona
Why would we push the limits,
or the envelope,
without being pushed to
by the nature of our circumstances?

Under normal operating conditions,
it is the savvy thing,
the wise thing,
to wait for the door to open,
and then walk through.

No guideline applies across all conditions.

The rule across all circumstances, times and places is
"Be right about what needs to be done
and do it when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises."

If we can't be right,
and can't wait,
we make our best guess about what is right,
and proceed carefully,
guessing again as necessary,
and proceeding carefully again, etc.

The situation dictates the action.

Imposing our idea of the action
upon all situations
because bulldozing doors
is what we do best
and like to do most
is not going to meet the test
of being right about what needs to be done.

And it will create resistance,
and a backwash of circumstances
that will be a long time abating. 

We sew the seeds of the future
by the way we respond to the present,
and "a word to the wise is unnecessary"
(Southern axiom).


Adrift, Too 10/15/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Pamlico Sound, Stonington, Deer Isle, Maine
Attuned to our circumstances,
aligned with the times,
in touch with what is called for,
at one with our original nature,
we are prepared to do 
what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
in ways appropriate to the occasion.

All that remains then
is the courage to do it,
overriding cultural/social norms
and responding spontaneously
out of an innocent and noble heart
to the time and place of our living.

When it all comes together,
we dance with the music of the spheres,
and with the elves and leprechauns
who have been waiting for just such a moment,
and hoping it would be here, now. 



December Woods 07 12/02/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Jesus lived without an eye on
what was in it for him.
Imagine that if you can.

Jesus lived to be who he was,
without anything to gain
for so doing.

Jesus lived to express/exhibit/reveal/
incarnate/serve the gifts/daemon/shtick/proclivities/virtues/etc.
of his original nature,
anyway, nevertheless, even so.

Jesus lived to do what needed to be done,
when it needed to be done,
where it needed to be done,
the way it needed to be done,
in each situation as it developed,
no matter what.

For the joy of doing so,
and the delight/satisfaction of having done it.

This is the only thing
that separates Jesus
from the rest of us.

The more like this we can live,
the more like Jesus we will be.

All it takes is living from the center,
like babies fresh from the womb,
all our life long.


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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