January 10-B, 2023

Rhododendron at Mabry Mill 05/17/2012 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Meadows of Dan, Virginia
We cannot come to ourselves
without leaving the culture behind.

The return to Eden meant death 
to those entering the Land of Promise.
That would be the death Jesus died
before his death on the cross--
the metaphorical/symbolic death
in Gethsemane,
with "Thy will, not mine, be done."

We, like Jesus, have to die
to all that stands between us and Eden,
home, the Promised Land,
oneness with That Which Has Always Been Called God.

The exit from Eden leads to Gethsemane,
which is the doorway back to Eden.
Living to ourselves
means dying to the culture--
to all the culture proclaims to be important,
to all the things Adam and Eve thought 
they were getting when they left Eden.

We have to die to all of that
in going back to Eden.

Start by cutting off your TV.
Engaging emptiness,
and silence.
Finding the balance point
among all aspects of life,
and living there,
bearing the pain
of the contradictions
and the bliss of the harmonies
and the rhapsodies.

Making the trade-offs,
saying "No!" 
to what needs to be "No!"
and saying "Yes!"
to what needs to be "Yes!"
no matter what
all our life long.


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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