May 30, 2022


Sunset Christmas Eve 2016 Oil Paint Rendered — Charlotte, North Carolina
Our practice is working
to maintain our balance and harmony
while endeavoring to merge our original nature
and the virtues that are ours from birth
with the here/now
of our circumstances
in each situation as it arises.

This is called being who we are,
where we are,
when we are,
how we are,
while doing what needs to be done,
when, where and how it needs to be done,
no matter what.

That's what Jesus would do.
Being who Jesus was
is being who we are
in ways that are just right
for the occasion at hand.



Goodale 11/22/2019 03 Oil Paint Rendered — Adams Mill Pond, Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina
There is:

And there is:

And there is:

Get this down
with the right ratios
and that's all there is to it.

Oh, and make sure that
your theology
doesn't get in your way.



Swan Lake Iris Gardens 10/25/2019 04 — Sumter, South Carolina
The best way
to keep your theology 
out of the way
is don't have any.

No theology never hurt anyone.
Theology is the bane of existence.
And the end of religion.

The number of wars fought over theology,
and the amount of misery and suffering
imposed upon humankind by/because of theology
is reason enough to have nothing to do with it.

Couple that with it's destructive power
in reducing our own response-ability
for doing what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises,
and theology easily becomes 
the worst idea ever
in the entire history of ideas.

No theology!
No doctrine!
No dogma!
No creeds!
No catechisms!

Only us just as we are
on our own
up against the context and circumstances
of our lives.

That seems fair.
Actually, not.
The odds are heavily weighed in our favor
every time.

The context and circumstances of our life
have no chance with us.

Our original nature
and the virtues that come with us 
from the womb
are more than enough to deal well
with what faces us
every step of the way
along The Way.

Grounded in The Mystery,
about which no more can be said,
we have all we need to do what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises.

Following the lists in #2 above
is all it takes to manage our life successfully
no matter what it throws at us.

If it helps you to think that 
we will return in some configuration
after death
to continue the work we have begun,
think it--
that will not get in your way,
and it will free you up to give it your best
in making the best of everything that comes along.

And life becomes a play ground
with us having a grand old time
with all of our options
all of the time.



Melrose Oak Oil Paint Rendered — Melrose Plantation, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana
It is delightful to speculate
about the process whereby
the Source of Life
actually becomes life,
but it is also beyond the realm of our options.

We cannot think about things
transcendent to thought,
or imagine things beyond our imagination.

For us it is impossible.

How inert carbon atoms
come to life...
How the energy of life
inserts itself into inert carbon atoms...

I start with the theory
that life can be anywhere,
but it is not everywhere.

From the beginning there has been life,
which means there is no beginning.
There was never a time
when time was not,
and within time--
coterminous with time--
is life and the means of supporting life,
which suggests water,
and from our standpoint oxygen--
but doesn't discount the possibility
that life forms could "breathe"
something other than oxygen--
and from that point,
evolution takes over 
and things go their merry way,
which has an infinite number
of configurations.

This doesn't say anything
about what life is,
because we cannot say what life is,
because it is transcendent to thought.
Life "just is."
That is all we can say about life.

And we say, "God just is,"
so it isn't as though we are saying
anything about life that hasn't been said
about God.

Life is God. 
Think of it that way.
And it is all a wonder!
Be amazed!
And dance with the very idea!


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: