February 07, 2022


Old Shelton Church Ruins 02 11 /12/2017 Oil Paint Rendered — Yemassee, South Carolina
There is nothing to it,
to being anchored on the immovable spot
and oriented toward doing what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises
throughout our life.

All it takes is changing our mind about what is important,
being right about what IS important,
and living in ways that serve it
situation by situation
our entire life long.

The ingredients in being able to do this are
the right kind of emptiness,
the right kind of stillness
and the right kind of silence.

Sit still.
Be empty
and quiet.
And wait for something 
that cannot be missed
to stir to life
and call your name.

If you have to get up
and go about your business,
by all means do so,
walking two paths at the same time.
One path called "Taking Care of Business,"
and the other path called
"Being Still, Quiet and Empty
and Waiting On Something That Can't Be Missed
to Call My Name."

When the Boom Is Lowered,
you will know it.
Then it is only a matter
of doing what is called for
all along the way.

What could be easier than that?



Patricia Lake Panorama 10-03-2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Jasper National Park, Alberta
Greed, hatred and fear
are easier to inspire/incite
than peace, love, and kindness.

This makes it easier to be a fascist
than a saint.

And why there is so much vitriol
in the world
and so little goodwill and good faith. 

Quirinius and Pilate had incentive,
John the Baptist and Jesus had resolve.

John the Baptist and Jesus could also believe
that help was on the way,
that justice, mercy and truth
would be rewarded,
and that Good would triumph over Evil.

"The arc of the universe is bending toward"
global warming and the bane of capitalism and racism,
and the hope of a savior to rescue the pure in heart
is dashed upon the rocks of reality
in the form of assassinations and Dark Money,
killing off and buying off the voices of those crying,
"In the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord!"

The Coming One is here, now, 
and no one notices
or lives as though it matters,
because the right kind of emptiness,
stillness and silence
are swept away in the noise and calamity 
of the clashing rocks and the crashing waves.

How does the impetus of John the Baptist and Jesus
sustain itself in the face of 
gerrymandering and right-wing rage?
What fuels resolve in the age of ruthless fury?

The right kind of emptiness, stillness and silence
connecting us to the enduring center, source and core
of life and being. 

This is the Other Reality enabling the resolve
of those grounded upon the adamantine foundation
impervious to the forces of evil in all forms,
times and places.

Hatred burns itself out in time.

The soft values are everlasting.

It only takes stepping out of the noise and complexity
of this age
to know that it is so.

The Coming One comes to life
in those who are quiet in the right kind of way.

Who trust themselves to the experience and expression of
grace and compassion--
the grace of compassion--
in each situation as it arises,
seeing there what needs to be done
and doing it the way it needs to be done,
time after time,
no matter what.

This is the message of these times
for those who have eyes to see,
ears to hear,
and a heart that understands what's what
and what needs to be done about it,
even here,
even now,
to the close of the age
and beyond.



Beidler Forest 21 05-23-2019 Oil Paint Rendered — Francis Beidler Audubon Wildlife Preserve, Four Hole Swamp, Harleyville, South Carolina
If I had been advising Jesus,
he would have had a different outcome.
"Don't push the river!" 
I would have told him.

Jesus thought he could push God to act
in his behalf.
God is like the river in this regard.

Nothing happens before its time.

We cannot hurry the river, or God, along.

We have to read the signs,
know what's what,
and respond accordingly.

Acting appropriately in response
to each situation as it arises
means seeing what's happening
and interpreting it--
understanding its meaning--

Appropriate understanding
flows easily into appropriate action.

We have to be able to read the times
to know what it is time for
and how to respond to what is going on.

"There is a time for every matter under heaven."

Knowing when it is time for what
is the art of being alive.

Jesus should never have gone to Jerusalem.
Bad timing, Jesus.
Teach your disciples to read the times
and to know when to do what.

All that martyrdom was a stupid waste of resources.

Read the times.
Bide your time.
Wait for the right time to act
in the service of what needs to be done.

Instinct and intuition lead the way.

Learn to resonate with the times that are at hand.
Dance with the music of the times.
See, hear, understand what time it is for,
in order to know what to do 
and how to do it.

The right kind of emptiness,
the right kind of stillness,
the right kind of silence
lead the way.

Trusting yourself to know 
when the time is right.
Do not push the time to be right
just because you are ready for it to be right.

A little waiting changes the situation
just enough to create the mood
that makes the time just right.

We have to wait for the dough to rise,
for the tomato to ripen,
for the baby to decide
when it is time to be born.

Just wait, Jesus.
Do not go to Jerusalem.

What a difference that would have made. 


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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