June 24, 2022


Through the Windows 01 Oil Paint Rendered
Taking the Parable of the Prodigal Son,
the Parable of the Good Samaritan,
and the bit in Matthew 25
about "In as much as you have done it,
or not done it, 
to one of the least of my brothers and sisters,
you have done it,
or not done it,
unto me,"
as our starting point,
we cannot help but conclude
that being one with Jesus
requires a complete change of life
from the way we are living our lives.

We cannot go to Sunday School 
and "church,"
and think we have done something
about which God is going to be happy
to have us in heaven.

"Big Wup," as the Disciples might say.

Christianity as we know it
is as far from religion as Jesus lived it
as an alligator is from ice cream.



Sea Stacks 03 Oil Paint Rendered — The Wasteland Collection
What does thinking about sex
keep you from thinking about?

What does thinking about Jesus
keep you from thinking about?

What does thinking about what you think about
keep you from thinking about?

What makes you so crazy
you can't allow yourself to think about it?

Whatever it is,
it is keeping you from thinking about
the life that is yours to live--
the life that is waiting for you to live it--
the adventure that is calling you
to take a chance 
on it being the best thing
that ever happened to you.

"That which you seek
lies far back
in the darkest corner
of the cave you most 
do not want to enter"
(Joseph Campbell).

Think about that cave!
Enter that cave!
And make your way back
into its darkest corner!



Red Barn white Fence 02 05/30/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Chester County, South Carolina
We are forever seeking the treasure,
the windfall,
the Mother Lode...

And, what will that do for us?
What will that enable us to do?
That we cannot do here/now?

The here/now is always such a dreadful place,
and we seek solace and comfort,
smooth and easy.

Treasure will allow us to do just what we want
It will be like heaven on earth.
Like retirement.

I'm doing just what I want.
The problem is that I have to know what that is.
My Order of the Day is filled to the brim
with things I want to do.
That need me to do them.

I am writing here/now,
and watering the yard,
which consists of lawn and beds
and the wild space I call "The Zen Glen,"
because, why not?

I am owned by my life here/now
as much as I was then/there,
the only difference is a big one--
a matter of preference and calling,
and I don't know where the line lies
between the two.

It turns out that my preferences are my calling,
that I prefer my calling over the 10,000 things
that interfere with my preference/calling.

My theory is that once we give our calling
the lead,
our preferences change to embrace our calling.
If we do the things we do well,
we will prefer to do those things.

The cave we most don't want to enter
becomes the oasis of our soul.

When I was in college,
I studied the requirements for graduation,
and took classes based solely
on if a term paper was not a part of the class.
My job was largely writing.
Writing is what I most love to do here/now.
Go, as they say, figure.


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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