God and Holiness – Anthony Dimaio

Wait on the Lord HD_mainI grew up just when air-conditioning became popular. We all thought it to be an innovation that would transform our lives and worlds. But I actually think that air conditioning might have taken something away as well. Growing up in Brooklyn, in Bay Ridge, the summers were hot. Coney Island was a 11 minute drive away… thus offering us the respite of the water’s relief.
When summer got hot, everything and everyone S L O W E D  D O W N. Back then the trains just had fans…I think God made Summers to be Slow because if you rushed through them you missed your time of growth. Back in Brooklyn, after families had their dinner, the neighbors would populate their porches and stoops. We all sat with pitchers of lemonade talking from one stoop to another. We would learn more about our history, how we all came to Brooklyn and all the colorful stories that our parents could get out before bedtime.
We learned more about who we were because we slowed down to actually listen. What this has to do with holiness is a bit of a revelation: When I mention the word holiness, instead of thinking about a church building or some dark clothing and attire, think about summer, and how you HAD TO SLOW DOWN so that you didn’t over-heat.Holiness isn’t a tone of voice, black apparel or even the amount of time you spend in prayer.  Holiness is a rhythm and a lifestyle that liberates, creates and redeems that which was lost. Back in the book of Genesis, it was in the evening, when the voice of the Lord would walk in the cool of the day. He and Adam got together after dinner to hang out. I recently was meditating on 2 Timothy where Paul writes about the farmer, the soldier, the athlete. 

Paul tells us to be farmers: farmers plant. They also eat what they plant. If you can’t eat what you produce, you are planting the wrong kind of crop.  But then listening to Chuck Swindoll, he refers to the farmer’s responsibility:
I love the metaphor Jerry Bridges uses in The Pursuit of Holiness. He writes about how a farmer plows his field, plants his seed, and waters his crop, even though God is the One who causes the germination, the growth, and finally, the harvest. The farmer cannot do what God must do, and God will not do what the farmer should do.
Holiness requires cooperation. God has made it possible for us to walk in holiness, but He has given us the responsibility of walking.
Holiness then under this context is the by-product of our pursuit and actions after God… one step at a time, and often when we slow down. Holiness isn’t like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, where we  click our spiritual heels and arrive, but how we walk with Him. And how so brilliant and appropriate: Enoch walked with God and was not, because he had the testimony that he pleased God. So today, remind yourself, holiness was never made to be a mouse-click access.
 In the last few days of August, slow down enough to go for a walk with God.  

Anthony DiMaio