The Holy (or Set Apart from the Mundane)


Trudging through a slough of disappointments.  Mired in sorrow.  The winds of confusion swirling around.  The path is no longer visible.  Direction unclear.

But up ahead a pin prick of light.  A shadow of a glimmer of a reflection.  A hope.  All is not lost.

The shining grows bigger.  Not an illusion.  Something to aim for.  The path is illuminated as if with the light of one tiny candle.

But it is enough to move on. To go forward.


Be holy as He is holy. Be in the world, but not of the world.

I remember the first time I heard the definition of “holy” – pretty sure it was my youth pastor a million years ago explaining holiness as being set apart.  Now, I don’t know about you, but when you’re a teenager, the last thing you want to be is set apart.  The implication is that you have been set apart by others because you don’t fit in. And oh how desperately I wanted to fit in.  To be included.  At that age I never understood that I could want to be different. That being like everyone else wasn’t such a great thing.

Now that I’ve had 25 plus years to ruminate over this definition I get it.  Holiness – what sets us apart – is a tiny pin prick of light in the darkness.  Sometimes only candle light on a path that is no longer visible. I long to be that pin prick of glimmering hope. A light at the end of the tunnel – miles away, yet bright enough to lead the mired out of the dark.  Not the light itself – but a reflection of the light.

And this journey I am on seems to be directing me towards being that reflection.  I find myself bemused by the concerns of some Christians in my community:

They worry about Muslims taking over the country.

Or progressive politicos.

Of the media.

Oil prices.

The loudness of worship team.

The need for a 10 million dollar new church building.  Or protest against the same building.

Don’t get me wrong.  We should have concern for some of these things.  We should be aware.

But above all we should be determined to be holy.  As Jesus Christ was holy.  We should be in the world, but not OF the world – Christ-like in all we do.

Sometimes we need to sit near the back.  To pray.  To imagine.  To wonder.  To resolve to be nothing more than that little light shining in someone’s darkness.

Obedience: The End of Desert Wandering

Time for another post! And I have nothing to say…

Who am I kidding? I always have something to say! I had this idea my blog would include all these fantastic posts about where I’ve been, what I’ve learned and observations about the spiritual life. And maybe someday it will.

But for now it’s all about obedience. It’s about opening up the laptop and grinding away and hoping something will resonate. Oh, I’m not so crazy to believe it will resonate with the general public and end up on “Freshly Pressed” – I’m just hoping it will resonate with me.

I’m trying not to be concerned with the number of words or editing. That will come in time. It’s all about writing SOMETHING!

The message at church this morning was called “Wandering” – of course referring to the Israelite’s forty years of desert exile. It made me think that I have spent most of my life in the desert. Wandering.

I think the desert is sometimes a necessary icky which helps us to refocus on what is important. These deserts can come in the form of layoffs or sickness or something that shakes us to the bone and puts us in a darker place for a season.

Sometime the desert is a direct result of sin. Adultery discovered. Addiction leading to arrest. Cheating causing expulsion. There is grace, but there is also consequence.

However, how often do we choose the desert? How many times do we stay in the holding pattern, circling over our destination and never landing?

Guilty as charged.

At the outset of adulthood I roamed in the desert out of fear of making a bad decision. Then I moved on to “I’m not enough” – not pretty enough. Not smart enough. Not disciplined enough. Now I think I’ve become comfortable in the desert. I’ve got my nice little tent. My work to keep me busy and that manna that falls from heaven everyday. Why should I expect more?

And that’s the crux of the matter. We were created for more. We were created for eternity. Before the creation he formed our being – what we would be, what we could accomplish in his name. All if only…

If only we ignored the giants in the land – comparison.
If only we took the risk and stepped out into the PLAN – that plan that is so much bigger than we could ever imagine.
If only we stopped worrying about being comfortable and started being concerned with our character.
If only we trusted God. If only we trusted God. IF ONLY WE TRUSTED GOD.

I am ready (gulp!) to step out of the desert. I am going to put my feet in the Jordan and watch as God holds up the water and allows me to walk on dry land (again!) and reach the Promised Land.

And that is what this obedience is about.

I can’t MAKE His plan for me happen. But I can be obedient.

So even if I have nothing to say. No profound words of wisdom. No gripping stories. I have obedience. I have obedience.

So I write. And will continue to write.