The ancient Greeks had two words for time – one was chronos and the other was kairos. The quality of your life will be greatly enhanced if you can determine what time it is and then set your clock accordingly!
Chronos time is:
- Raced against
- A number of days
- Represented by a stop watch
Kairos time is:
- Danced with
- Not numbered in days
- Represented by a compass
Throughout this time of injury, repair and recovery it’s as if my neat and tidy measured life has been tossed up in the air, blown around by a stormy blast of hot air and allowed to land randomly on the landscape.
Life as I knew it before the accident has long been erased from reality. Life since the accident has introduced into my world drastic limitations and a way of life that is no longer governed by the race to get things done but more by a daily choice to dance with the circumstances and the new reality I now face.
Bottom line is I’ve been learning to live on kairos time! It`s not that chronos time is wrong but what I`m learning is that it`s not enough to encompass the full scope of human experience.
How do you know when you should set your clock to kairos time?
- When life doesn’t make sense
- When you find yourself in a wilderness between an ending and a new beginning
- When your dreams have been dashed or put on hold
- When you`ve experienced significant loss and are grieving that loss
- When you or someone you love is in the middle of a transition
- When you are impacted by illness and suffering
So much of life experience doesn`t fit into a schedule or onto a calendar and if we try to measure it or control it, we simply increase the stress and frustration levels.
As soon as I was able to let go of a defined outcome and time table for recovery, I started to live again. Sounds strange to say it but in looking back it`s been true. Living by a compass and following God`s “true north” of trust and remaining open to what shows up, I’ve been surprised many times by the quality of life and the transformation taking place during this season of unmeasured time.
Once I accepted this time as God`s appointed time for me something changed. I started moving to the beat of new music and found new purpose during this season of unmeasured living.
You might say, I’m learning to adopt a “kairos perspective.”
All is perspective. To a worm, digging in the ground is
more relaxing than going fishing (Clyde Abel).
If you don’t like the way something looks,
change the way you look at it (Wayne Dyer).
As Solomon said it in Ecclesiastes 3 in the language of kairos time…
There is an appointed time for everything.
And there is a season for every event under heaven.
…a time to kill and a time to heal.
…a time to tear down and a time to build up.
…a time to weep and a time to laugh,
… a time to mourn and a time to dance.
What part of your life needs to be governed more by kairos time than chronos time? What would changing your clock look like?
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