July 16-B, 2022

Made for Contemplation 05/24/2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Crabtree Falls, Blue Ridge Parkway, Little Switzerland, North Carolina
All bad religion
thinks the way it sees things
is the way things are.

Taking the way we see things
to be the way things are
is what schizophrenics do best.

Bad religion and schizophrenia
are inseparable.
Where does that line lie?

Bad religion is always talking about
"God's will this," and
"God's will that."

Everything is "God's will, 
God's will,
God's will..."

Bad Religion holds that God
is all-powerful,
in an "In HIM (always a HIM)
is light and there is no darkness
at all!!!"


Rumi had it right:
"Darkness is the cradle of light."
Darkness is light's mother.
Light would be dark
without darkness.
Nobody could see anything
without the contrast of shadow,
of darkness. 

Which ties in nicely with God's will.

God is all-powerful 
And God's will is what holds
everything in place.
Look around.
If God's will is responsible
for all of this,
God should quit.
Or be fired.

The truth about God is this:
God is as vulnerable
as a baby born in a manger,
as a man dying on a cross.

God is helpless.
God has no favorites.
God has no stake in anything,
has nothing to gain or lose in any outcome.
With God,
one thing is as good as another.
Else, how can things be what they are?

It's a mess out there,
and has been from the beginning.
Which beginning was that?
How many beginnings have there been?
And they have all turned out to be
indistinguishable from the last beginning.
Or the next one.
It's a mess everywhere we look.

God's will is messy.
God loves a good mess.
God is not who God is cracked up to be.

Speaking of cracked up,
it cracks me up
to hear people talking about God
being all-powerful
and all-compassionate
in a world like this one.

Compassion is the other side of the mess.
The mess generates compassion
by being so messy.
Compassion is the mess's way
of cleaning up the mess.
As a way of balancing out the madness.

Schizophrenia has a compassionate side.
And bad religion produces good religion
as a reaction to the insanity of bad religion.

Like water,
everything seeks its own level.
are what everything is seeking.
Searching for.
Living to experience.

The mess produces 
its own need for order.
Generates its own thirst
for "decently and in order."
Strives to save itself
from itself.
Light from darkness.
Life from death.
Good religion.
The way things ought to be.
The Phoenix rising from its own ashes.
God's will willing itself into being.
Sense from nonsense.
Created by allowing things to be
exactly what they are
long enough to become
what they need to be.

And that's a long, long time.
And, it 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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