Time seems to sprint while I try to catch up. Like running a race with my older brother as kids—I always fell a few paces behind. No matter how much I pumped my arms and stretched my stride, he’d beat me to the finish line.
How we walk (or run) in our timed life on earth impacts eternity—and the lives around us today. As Tish Harrison Warren talks about in Liturgy of the Ordinary, how we live our one day—after day—after day, is how we live our lives.
So, how should we use our time?
The New Testament teaches us two definitions of time:
- Chronos: used to express the idea of a period of time or a certain time.
- Kairos: used to express the idea of something being in season, or the right opportunity at the right moment.
My pastor expressed it this way:
Time always was. God was in eternity past and we will exist with him in eternity future. This is the Chronos line. When Jesus came, he stepped into the earthly Chronos line at the right Kairos moment. He died at the right Kairos moment. He will come again at the right Kairos moment. Chronos always is, but Kairos is a special moment in time.
So here are two questions to ask when choosing how to use our time:
1. What opportunities are Kairos moments in my life?
- Who are the people I am around uniquely in this season?
- What are the unique needs of this season?
- What are Kingdom priorities that only I can meet?
In considering my Kairos moments in my life I am able to discern that my family, finishing my seminary degree, and ministering to moms during play dates are really the main Kairos moments in my life right now. They are positional opportunities and responsibilities that are unique to this season of my life. So, in determining what to include in my every day rhythm of life, these take priority.
2. What length of Chronos do I have to give?
- How can I faithfully be present in my Kairos moments with the Chronos (amount) of time I have?
- How can I do things more efficiently so I can build relationships with others for the sake of the Kingdom?
In looking at my Kairos priorities and my limited amount (Chronos) of time, I have recently made some life decisions. I order my groceries online and drive-up to pick them up. We do family clean-up before bed so I’m not spending hours tidying the house when I’m supposed to be writing a research paper. I said no to women’s Bible study this semester, but yes to the weekly playgroup with non-believers for evangelism and yes to a bi-weekly small group with believers for spiritual community.
How about you?
- What are the Kairos moments in your life right now?
- What amount of Chronos do you have?
- What decisions do you need to make so that you live your day—after day—after day, to equal up to the life you are called to live in Christ Jesus?