December 02-C, 2022

Flat Branch Greenway 01 10/21/2022 Oil Paint Rendered — Mecklenburg Parks and Recreation, Charlotte, North Carolina
"Why did this happen to me?" 
"Why does this always happen to me?"
"Why do things like this happen?"

We ask these questions as though
if "these things" have a cause or a reason,
we could say, "Oh, okay,"
and live happily ever after. 

In possession of the best reason in all the world,
we would still be outdone, 
we would still protest,
we would still be miffed,
and miss again the one thing
"things like this" offer us--
an opportunity to turn the light around,
shift our point of view,
change our perspective.

Nothing happens in order to set up 
something else happening
that will make whatever happened
be just fine.

Life is not a game board,
and we are not pieces being moved about
by invisible hands
in order to realize a great win
at the end of the game.

Things happen because circumstances are such
that they are naturally called forth
by the time and place of their occurrence. 

No purpose.
No reason.
Just "things like this happen all the time."
Don't take it personally,
respond to it appropriately
by working with your perspective,
your point of view,
your way of seeing and assessing reality,
your practice of making meaning of daily events.

The meaning of everything that happens to us
is what we do in response.
How we respond,
and how our response patterns change over time,
is the foundation of our maturation,
of our growing up.

If we respond to similar events
in the same way,
year after year,
we are not maturing.

We are not changing for the better.

We are not learning anything from our experience
that will enable us to live better
in response to future experiences.

We are wasting our time. 


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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