i remember going for a walk with a friend named chris while i was teaching english in mongolia in the summer of 2002. where we were, on campus of a small college in ulan bator, it was very dark. there were few lights to light our way. chris was talking about the word holiness and how he had just discovered that the meaning for the word implied a total distinction from everything else. maybe a way to understand it is how light is completely different from dark, how a street at night in red deer completely different from one in the capital city of mongolia.
i’m mulling over the word holiness today as i spend time reflecting and preparing to teach in an upcoming discipleship training school.
it’s interesting how dots connect. this morning i read an o-bomb from the man himself, oswald chambers. his opening line was a zinger, a killer way to begin a new month:we must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life. we are not destined to happiness, nor to health, but to holiness. today we have far too many desires and interests, and our lives are being consumed and wasted by them. many of them may be right, noble, and good, and may later be fulfilled, but in the meantime God must cause their importance to us to decrease. the only thing that truly matters is whether a person will accept the God who will make him holy. at all costs, a person must have the right relationship with God.
i’m trying to remember how i came to sit at the computer, why the word surfaced to the top of my consciousness as i sat going over notes, words written, things people had said to me that i jotted down years ago, and thought i put to the page as i traveled the geography of the far east and the deeper areas of the heart.
what is it like to be different than everyone else, for our circumstances to differ from every thing that dominates every one else? the ride the answer to the question brings, surely a wild one. asked differently, the question seems to be: what is it like to be like God? holy as he is holy. about his business. doing the things he does.
this is the peel of the fruit my teeth cut into today, my head turns on its axis to get the leverage i need to suck out as much juice as i can.