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Kairos Time

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Eccl. 3:11 NIV

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. II Pet. 3:8 ESV

Last year I participated in a eight day backpacking course with the National Outdoor Leadership School in the Gila Wilderness of Southwestern New Mexico. We were asked to leave our cell phones behind and given the option not use our watches. I chose to not use my watch. I was surprised by how dependent I had become on technology, and how often I wanted to look down at my wrist to see if it was time for a meal, or if I was in the right place at the right time. I found it freeing to just move with the rhythms of nature and not be so concerned about measuring every second.

Henri Nouwen speaks to the tendency we have to be controlled by time. “Clock time, (Chronos) is divided into minutes, hours, days, and weeks, and its compartments dominate our lives. In Chronological time, what happens to us is a series of disconnected incidents and accidents that we seek to manage or subdue to feel in control of our lives. Time becomes a burden unless we convert it to God’s time. God’s time (Kairos), has to do with opportunity and fullness of meaning, moments that are ripe for their intended purpose. When we see time in light of our faith in the God of history, we see that the events of this year are not just a series of happy or unhappy events but part of the shaping hands of God, who wants to mold our world and our lives. Even when life seems harried and continues to have hard moments, we can believe that something good is happening amid all of this. We get glimpses of how God might be working out His purposes in our days. Time becomes not just something to get through or manipulate or manage, but the arena of God’s work in us.”

I have found that much of my stress on a regular basis is due to my tendency to live on chronos time, and not convert it to kairos time. It is my default to try to manage and subdue time to gain a false sense of control, but time stops for no man. When I spend time in nature and contemplation on a regular basis I tend to see time more from God’s perspective; my pulse slows, my mind relaxes and I’m reminded that the Lord is in control and He is working all things for my good and His glory. May you find some time this week to calibrate your soul to kairos time!

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