April 27, 2022


Wizard Island 05/23/2009 Oil Paint Rendered –Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Finding the way forward
is as easy as finding the thing
that needs to be done here and now.
If we can be right about that,
we can be trusted to find the way forward
simply by doing what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises,
when it needs to be done,
how it needs to be done
simply because it needs to be done,
with no ulterior motives attached.

And, if we are wrong about what needs to be done
here and now, 
this is not a problem.
Experimentation and attention
are quick and easy fixes
for not being sure what the right thing is
that needs to be done.

It is like making good soup
or good pizza. 
Attentive experimentation
is all it takes.

Live your life that way,
and Boom! as John Madden would say,
finding your way forward
is as easy as that.



Beulah Land 59 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone, North Carolina
We have what we need
to find what we need
to do what needs to be done.
And always have.
We have always wanted more.

This is the theme of the Garden of Eden,
metaphor though it is,
and people have always missed the point.
It is not disobedience that is the problem.
It is not eating the "forbidden fruit,"
and "knowing the difference between good and evil."

It is refusing to do what is asked of us,
what is called for,
what needs to be done.

It is turning our backs on the moment,
wondering what is in it for us,
saying, "First I need you to do me a favor."

The profit motive is the original sin.

It has been "Profit At Any Price" from the start.

We refuse to do what needs to be done
until someone sweetens the deal.

Jesus understood what the problem is,
and refused to play the game.
"See what needs doing and do it!"
said Jesus
with the Parable of the Prodigal Son
and the Parable of the Good Samaritan,
and the Parable of the Talents,
and the Parable of the Unjust Steward...

And he died on a cross
for the sake of his own integrity
and sincerity,
and calls us all to follow his example
in doing what needs to be done
even if it means dying in the service
of what is good
whether it does any good or not.

If we can't do that,
how good is the good we call good?
If we won't die for it,
how good is that?

See what needs doing and do it!
No matter what!
In each situation as it arises!
Our entire life long!

What's so hard about that?
Do it anyway!


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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