June 25, 2022


Two Inches In Fifty Minutes 06/16/2022 Oil Paint Rendered — Indian Land, South Carolina
Joseph Campbell had the right kind of parents. 
I'm envious.
With the right kind of parents
children have an immediate advantage
that others their age can never overtake.

Just try getting over having had 
the wrong kind of parents!
And mine were no worse than 90%
of the parents in their age group.

Gives you an idea of what the kids
in my age group had to deal with!
Compensating for the wrong kind of parents
is time consuming
and fraught with disaster.

We all need another go at it
with better parents.

On the other hand,
I was a better father
than my father was,
so, who's to say 
what kind of father I would have been
with a better father?

I don't know,
but I would love to find out
with another chance.
I'm going straight to the do-over line in heaven.
Or hell.

I suppose it will be a longer line in hell.



Window 06 Oil Paint Rendered — Through The Window Collection
"Columbus took a chance," as the old saying goes.
It's nothing but chance all the way down.
We can reduce our chances,
but we cannot eliminate them,
and live with everything on the line every day.

Being at peace with this
is simply a matter of
living consciously with everything on the line every day.

Why hold anything back?
Risk it all in being true to yourself!
We lose validity by trying to be safe and secure,
and cover our bases 
by keeping the right people happy.

Sacrificing our own integrity
to keep the right people happy
is not being safe and secure.

Jesus said what needed to be said,
did what needed to be done,
and left himself open to the wrath of the authorities.
In guarding his own integrity,
Jesus left himself open to the opposition 
of "the right people."
And paid the price.

He would have paid a different price
doing it the other way.

What price are we going to pay?

Our answer to that question tells the tale.
The tale we are telling
by the way we live our life.

There are four words to honor,
cherish, implement in the way we live:

Stopping to think about it.
To weigh our chances.
To reduce our risks.
To cover our bases with the right people
brings calculation,
and analysis into play,
and innocence,
and spontaneity
are replaced with being smart
and crafty.

Jesus would be alive today
if he had done it that way.

And Columbus would have never sailed.



Guardian of the Sea Oil Paint Rendered — The Wasteland Collection
What needs to be done in a situation
may have nothing to do 
with what should (ought to) be done.
Must trumps should/ought.

And so it is said,
"Principles fly in the face of necessity!"

The right thing to do
leaves morality and ethics
debating the implications and consequences,
and acts in the moment
anyway, nevertheless, even so.

Being true to ourselves
in doing what the situation calls for
is taking the chance 
of being right 
about what the situation calls for.

There is no being sure for certain
that we know what we are doing.
We trust ourselves
with everything on the line
and do what we say needs doing,
and wait for time to tell
if we were right or wrong.

This is called
having the courage of our own convictions
and acting out of our own sense
of what needs to happen--
and doing it again
with regard to the outcome of our action.

Step by step all the way.
This is the way.


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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