In a world where conformity is rewarded and the lack thereof is applauded, what does it mean to be set apart, to be holy? Even if a person identifies as an atheist, chances are they believe in something, even if it’s a matter of staying true to their own path. They have set themselves on a course that they identify as being of their own choosing. Those who adhere to a faith practice of any kind most likely will say that they are set apart for the path that has been ordered by their deity.
Not really that different, actually. We all have a path to follow. Are we taking each step to help ourselves or are we taking them to help others?
For me, there is something selfish in saying there is nothing else, there is no ultimate accountability, that we can do whatever we want with no consequences: that’s sort of the dream of the average three year old — I can do what I want, when I want, and how I want. The idea that all this — the human nervous system, the diversity of plants and animal life, the variety within the universe — came out of nothing is certainly more absurd to me than believing it was created. But that’s just me perhaps …
It isn’t about believing in a higher power — it’s about not being all about self.
To be set apart means a focus on others, on giving what has been given.
To be set apart means to not conform but to have a willingness to engage with all around us: conformity sometimes suggests not connecting with those who are different. Those who are set apart will jump at the chance to connect.
To be set apart does not mean being a nonconformist exactly either. There is an expectation that those who are on the Creator’s path will not conform to the ways of the world, but that doesn’t mean being a weirdo. It simply means to live in a way that the love and kindness of the Creator comes through. For me, it’s by offering a kindness in some way wherever I go.
But I know there is more to do …