April 21, 2022


Hung Out to Dry 09/14/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Guilford County, North Carolina
We cannot have a living mythology
without a close personal relationship
with the Mystery at the heart
of life and being.

If we cannot honor the Mystery
with fealty,
filial devotion
and liege loyalty,
we are spiritually dead
beyond the hope of resurrection.

Spiritual life
flows from what we know
without knowing how we know,
and without being able to explain
what we know.

Words do not go where 
the spirit lives.

Talk, talk, talk
cannot say what silence can reveal.

Awe, wonder, radiance, splendor, fascination...
carry us beyond words
into the presence of Mystery,
beyond which we cannot go.

But, we must be able to go 
at least that far
to have a sense of more than words can say.
The beginning of understanding.



Beulah Land 53 Oil Paint Rendered — Guilford College Woods, Greensboro, North Carolina
What means the most to you?
Start there.
Live in ways that enhance
your relationship with that.
Allow your relationship with that
to lead you into what's next,
all along the way.

What means the most to me are:

And spending time in the presence
of those exuding/exhibiting/expressing
those things.

Just finding people like that
is more difficult than it ought to be.

So I live seeking
what's worth living for.

Don't we all?

"Be what you seek" is the best
guidance I've found.
That's hard enough.



Goodale Sate Park 17 11/06/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Adams Mill Pond, Camden, South Carolina
It takes too long to grow up.
By the time we are at the point
of living out of what we know to be so,
instead of what someone else
tells us is so,
we are too old to do much of anything,
and can't remember where we put the car keys,
or the checkbook.
Some good maturity does us.

We need more time
with our faculties up and operational.

It's hard to find anyone to talk to
who knows what they are talking about.
Everybody is saying what they heard
someone else say.
You hardly ever hear anyone 
talking about what they know to be so.

It's all about what they believe to be so.
Opinions are everywhere.
God is an opinion.
A large collection of opinions.
Heaven and hell are opinions.
We have people parading around as experts
on God, heaven and hell,
saying what they got from someone else,
who got it from someone else,
who got it...

Here's what I know to be an absolute,
incontestable fact:
It's nothing but chance
all the way down,
and nothing but Mystery
at the bottom.

If anybody tells you anything different,
they are just making it up.


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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