March 24, 2022


Fall at Bass Lake 10/05/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
What would be helpful?
What would be an acceptable substitute?
How would a change of mind/perspective
work as an acceptable substitute?

We are looking at things in one way,
seeing problems.
Why not look at things in a different way?
Why not experiment with different ways
of looking at things?

We say things are the way we say they are.
What happens when we think differently about them?

What happens when we think about our thinking?
When we see our seeing?
When we question what we think and how we see?

Whose word do we take for how things are?
How do we evaluate the validity of their assessment?

How do we know that we know
what we are talking about
when we say how things are?

How does our opinion of what things mean
begin to color, limit, become what things mean?

Who is to say what things mean?

What questions might we ask
in order to "get to the bottom of things"?

What would be helpful in determining 
what things mean?

What would be helpful?
What makes us think so?

What do we need to do what needs to be done?



Beulah Land 25 Oil Paint Rendered — Marsh Grass, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, Pamlico Sound Side, North Carolina
We can’t have it the way we want it,
and that is the source of all our problems.

Can we determine how things need to be apart from how we want things to be?

Can we serve how things need to be at the expense of our desires?

How often do we do that?

Where do we get our idea of how things ought to be?

What guides our boat on its path through the sea?

What makes us think the way we think is the way to think?

How do we evaluate what is important to us?

How valuable are our values?

What we want has no connection with what we need.

We can want what we have no business having.

What are we going to do about that?

Upon our answer to that question sways the future.

Everything is grounded upon our idea of The Good.

How good is the good we call good?

Whose good is served by the good we call good?

We call what we want “good.” And what we don’t want “bad.”

What does wanting know? Yet, wanting is our drive and our motivation. 

Can we assess what needs to happen apart from what we want to happen?

Can we will ourselves to do what we don’t want in light of what needs to be done?

Can we override our wanting by willing what needs to happen over what we want to happen?

Can we will ourselves out of wanting?


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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