February 04-B, 2023

Ramsey Creek 11/08/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Greenbriar District, Cosby, Tennessee
God doesn't play favorites. Doesn't have favorites.

From the beginning until now,
God's Chosen people don't come off
any better than the reprobates and scoundrels.

Even the Bible is straightforward about it:
"Time and chance happen to us all."
"It rains on the just and the unjust alike."

But we seek the advantage above all else,
and sermons through the ages
have played up the "Give To Get" line
to squeeze pennies from the poor
hoping for blessings and grace from on high.

"Give To Get" is the foundation 
of all the sacrificial and votive offerings
through the ages,
across time and place.

The idea of God needing something God cannot get
for him/her/itself
undermines the very idea of God
as infinite, eternal and almighty,
in complete control of history
and of all that happens throughout the universe.

A God who cannot be pleased
without someone pleasing him/her/it
constantly, eternally,
is no God at all. 

God as a partner with us 
in the service of the good
is a valid and lasting quality
of That Which Has Always Been Called God,

It is not an absolute good,
but a temporal and impermanent good--
a cup of cold water,
a loaf of bread,
food for the hungry,
visiting the sick
and those in prison,
sandals and clothes against the elements...

Temporary good is the only kind of good
that is not offset by evil.

What is good for the lion
is evil for the antelope.
Too much sugar
works against those who consume it.

We seek the middle road,
to live in the center of the bell-shaped 
normal distribution curve,
the reasonable and customary range 
between extremes,
between Yin and Yang,
in all things.

There we find the blessing sans curse,
the good that is fully good,
but not totally good,
provisional and not everlasting.

A benefit of the way
that is truly the way,
and keeps us going for another day. 


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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