At a recent talk I gave about experiencing the power of joy and FLOW in your life and your business, I mentioned God’s time and our time. Apparently, it resonated, because I had several people comment that I was the second or third person to say those words.
With that feedback, I thought I’d devote a little more time to elaborate on both types of time. : )
Our Time – Chronos Time
We spend our days mostly conscious of Chronos time. Chronos is the Greek word from which we get the word chronological time. That’s the time of clocks and calendars by which our lives are usually ruled.
Time seems to be in short supply. My friends tell me how time is speeding up.
There never seems to be enough hours in the day. No wonder that time management books are so popular.
Dr. Seuss expresses these timely time sentiments:
“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”Dr. Seuss
I asked my son this morning about his feelings on time. He gave a groan and said, “I wish you had asked me that five years ago.” He’s still a pup, on the cusp of turning 30. But he’s feeling the time pinch in a demanding job that is keeping him busy. The tyranny of Chronos time is felt by those who are young too.
If you feel that time is slipping away, switch your focus from Chronos time to Kairos time.
God’s Time – Kairos Time
Kairos is another Greek word that is given for time. This type of time is not chronological but an opportune time, a moment or season, such as harvest time.
Taking it a step further in Biblical terms, Kairos time is God’s appointed time that something happens. It is purpose-driven time.
In our world of instant gratification and “overnight success,” we hate to wait . We want everything now. Marketers use words like fast and easy. Lose weight fast (uh, you didn’t gain it fast), easy recipes (I’ve found most easy recipes are still super time consuming – cooking takes time), “easy” business solutions still take a LOT of time. All this traps us in Chronos time. We feel that what we truly want to accomplish isn’t happening fast enough or sometimes at all.
Tapping into God’s Time
Tapping into Kairos time requires us to stop, listen, and reflect.
The apostle Paul said so eloquently, “In him (God) we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28
We were created out of love to have a relationship with God. Connecting to God through time spent with God in meditation, prayer, and reading Scripture allows us to experience God’s presence.
We can then listen to the still, small voice inside of us – our spirit and God’s Spirit that guides us to take various action steps in our lives. The voice helps us discern what to do next and helps us to make decisions.
Reflecting helps us to see where Kairos time has happened.
Reflect Each Day on How Kairos Time Has Shown Up in Your Life
We may think we are ready for something to happen, especially when we have been working hard on a huge goal. But God’s time is always perfect.
Reflect back on your day to see where the presence of God showed up. Most of our lives are made up ordinary moments: going to and from work, interacting with our children or grandchildren, interacting with others, interacting with nature and the world around us. But where in your day did the Kairos moment break through?
Small Kairos Moments
I had one such Kairos moment during a very stressful day. There were technical issues with my website that were not being fixed. In my dogged determination, I sat at my computer for hours trying to fix the problem to no avail. It was stressful and upsetting.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement. My desk faced our backyard which had a large tree and green shrubbery surrounding the perimeter. Our backdoor opened to a huge stone patio, a sitting wall, and water feature.
On top of the sitting wall, a great blue heron appeared. This is one of my favorite birds. It stood four and a half feet tall. There it stood for minutes. Then it alighted on the patio where it pawed at the stones. It then flew on top of our garage and stood there for quite a while until it took off.
I was just mesmerized. All my stress disappeared. The website issues seemed trivial. I felt that God had given me this wonderful gift. It’s as if God said, “Take a break. Focus on this.”
What’s amazing is that we live in a residential community. Aside from a nearby park, I have no idea where a great blue heron could come from!
So, these moments don’t have to be huge. They are moments that are opportune. God reminds us that he is paying attention.
Large Kairos Moments
I have been journaling for decades. Aside from processing feelings, recording nuggets of wisdom in books or conferences I attend, and recording events, I find it a great way to look back and see where Kairos time has happened.
I don’t believe that anything we go through in our lives is wasted. When I look back, I can see how people and opportunities all led to where I am today. I’m sure when you look back, you will find the same to be true.
I found a journal from 1977 where I had the desire to write a word for the day book to encourage people. That book came to fruition 40 years later in God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement.
In 1977 I had not lived enough of life to be able to write that book. Writing it came as a complete surprise, because I had not intentionally sat down to write a book. It came out of spending time with God each morning during a very trying time of caring for my mother after she had four falls in one week. It was truly a gift from God to me. Kairos time.
Chronos time and Kairos time. Our time and God’s time. Know that when you are faithful to following the whispers of the still, small voice within you, and you use Chronos time wisely, you will live your life feeling loved, supported, and content.
You will recognize Kairos time, God’s time. And God’s time is always perfect.