Set Apart

It’s Holy Week and that leaves me pondering holiness.

To be holy is to be set apart for a singular sacred purpose.

With the way that everything is so mixed up and messy in our lives, what really remains dedicated to a singular purpose let alone a sacred one?

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time even dedicating my attention to a singular purpose. I don’t think I recall anything I completed this week while doing absolutely nothing else. My time, attention, and life are full of multi-tasking to the point that I wonder if I have a bit of a distraction addiction. (While I am typing this, I have Netflix streaming in another window.)

In the middle of all this distraction and busyness, though, part of me longs for holiness. I long for a singular dedicated purpose that is set apart from the daily grind. I long for a deeper connection that brings fulfillment and peace. This requires a whole-hearted devotion–turning over my priorities and letting them be reshaped by a higher agenda. Even when that agenda is love, joy, and peace, I resist. It is easier to redefine the term, and turn holiness into a list of things to do and do not.

What is meant to be a life-giving turns into a dead set of practices.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

God is always issuing an open invitation to find rest in him, but it is not always easy to respond. I have my list-making habit to lay aside. My list of things that, once finished, will make me worthy. My list of things that, once finished, will impress others. My list of things that, once finished, will mean that my children will not grow up dysfunctional, and my husband will never leave, and my church community will grow exponentially…

The truth is that my lists are long and impossible. I will never finish them, and if I wait until I prove myself worthy, I will never begin to pursue the Holy.

And besides, God never waited for anyone to attain perfection before knocking on their door. Read any story in the Bible and you will find desperately flawed people going about their daily lives when a holy God shows up. The reason their stories are in the book is that they accepted his invitation to live with a new, sacred purpose.

I can hear God knocking.

I think I will say yes. Flawed as I am. Distracted as I seem to be. I will take time–even just a few minutes–to seek the One who is able to produce holiness in me.

Now that’s ReFreshing.



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