A Courteous Contrararian

A Set-Apart New Year

Written By: Jon Jaroszewski - Jan• 01•15

I’m not normally one for New Year’s.
I think I fell asleep about nine last night. About twenty years ago, I made a resolution not to make any more resolutions and it’s the only one I’ve kept.
So imagine my surprise this morning to realize I felt different about 2015. I grabbed my coffee and smokes and sat down to think about beginning my morning prayer and Bible reading and stopped. I felt the Presence. It was one of those rare (at least in my experience) moments of the realization of his holiness and the holiness of the moment.
Such moments for me are enthralling and yet somehow hard to live through. But when one passes, I long for its, and his, return. It might be my imagination, but this one felt like he took away his hand and I glimpsed his back, like Moses in Exodus 33.
But it was enough. It was enough for me to want that holiness in my new year, that holiness for my new year. Or at least a measure of it.

Holiness, at least the way we’ve been taught to think about holiness, isn’t something I can attain. Only God is Holy. yet we’re instructed in both Testaments to be holy as God is holy. It hardly seems fair to command it if it is unattainable.
I can strive, however, for holiness if I use the biblical definition rather than the Christian one: I can strive to be set-apart.
To set myself apart won’t be to set myself apart from people who don’t believe what I believe. It will be to set myself apart from myself: from the way I usually am. I feel as though I can be holy by staying closer to the Lord. I can be holy by listening better, both to him and to other people. By serving more,
By watching more sunsets, and stars in a country sky.
I can strive to be more aware of the holiness that’s always there. Because it’s always there, I filter it out. like background noise in a restaurant. I have felt, but now choose to feel more often, the holiness of time spent with family, how each moment, good or bad, is lived out in the presence of God. I will strive to enjoy the great gifts of God, most especially the gift of friendship, deep and holy friendship, that I have experienced my whole life. I will try to live with integrity, sinner that I am, and realize trying is a worthy goal.
God this morning has given me a worthwhile goal for the new year, and with it the hope that we can accomplish it together. My new years wish for you is that you walk with the King. And have a Set-Apart New Year.

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