May 18, 2022


November Orchard Abstract 11/03/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Springs Farm, Fort Mill South Carolina
We have to have a vibrant relationship with mystery,
with The Mystery at the Heart of Life and Being.

There is That Which We Do Not Know,
but can intuit, apprehend, sense, "know."

We can know of That Which We Do Not Know.

Greeks and Romans had a shrine
"To The Unknown God,"
just in case. 
A shrine "To The Unknown"
would be quite appropriate
in all times and places.

There is more to be known than we can know.
It is not "All wrapped up and tied with a bow."
Mystery is the ground of our being.
The home of our soul.
The love of our heart.

When Augustine said,
"Our hearts are restless
until they rest in Thee,"
He was talking about The Mystery,
though he may have intended
the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
or the God of Jesus Christ,
it is The Mystery Behind All gods
and all religion--
beyond all theology and doctrine--
that is the Source of it all.

We have to develop a relationship 
with that Mystery
because we are a part of it,
belong to it,
and are heartsick without 
a vital connection with it.

Live to make The Mystery
a critical aspect of your life.
Doing so will restore your soul.



Mallards in Flight 16 01/29/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — The Bog Garden, Greensboro, North Carolina
We are in charge of our life.
We live it the way we say it needs to be lived.
It is essential that we are right about it.

How do we know?

The right kind of emptiness.
The right kind of stillness.
The right kind of silence.
The right kind of relationship
with The Mystery.

How do you nurture your relationship
with The Mystery?

How often do you acknowledge
The Mystery at the Heart of Life and Being?
What form does your acknowledgement take?

How do you honor The Mystery?
How do you bring yourself alive to The Mystery?
How do you pay homage to The Mystery?
How often do you speak about The Mystery?
To whom do you speak about The Mystery?
Where do you encounter The Mystery most often?
How often do you go there?
What symbols represent The Mystery for you?
How apparent are those symbols in your life?

The quality of our relationship
with The Mystery
is the determining factor
in the quality of our life.

To know The Mystery
is to know what to do with our life.
To not-know The Mystery
is to wander in the wasteland of our discontent
looking for meaning and purpose,
guidance and direction.

We know The Mystery
through our intentional association with it
and the practice we follow
in aligning ourselves with it.
Which we find through trial and error and discovery.


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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