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I’m trying to get out of town so time is of the essence to me, right now. RIGHT NOW! But in all my rushing around, I’m reminded of two simple concepts surrounding the tick-tick-tick of my circumstance. There are two kinds of time:
Chronos- Quantity. Measurable and allocatable. I have the same amount of time (24 hours) in everyday as you do. And then there’s
Kairos- Quality. Value-based, frequently ego-driven. Kairos is the quantum intangible. This kind of time requires a conscious decision on my part to “make time for” what is important. And while some of my chronos needs to be strategically divvied up to get things done each day, kairos needs to enter in or my days will be a vapid waste of existence. What seems even more important to me today — as I make my last minute packing and “to-do” list, is to consider from a faith perspective how to make today “count” for someone other than just me. Like any other resource, I need to steward it. So what does that mean?
Some days — like this day — the reality is I am over committed. I am ridiculously pressed. Nonetheless, there are cracks of opportunity for the hours to reflect the kairos of God. And it is mainly the result of my God-graced perspective. Asking Him to show me the kairos in my chronos is the first step to a good day. What matters to You today, Lord? How do I love you above all in my Franklin-plannerized plight? Set my agenda aside — or at least beneath — Yours. There are a lot of good things to get done…but what is best? If I demote my “necessary” drivenness to second place, I may see the person who is making my car ready for the impending road war and my interaction with him will be mindful; if the grocery store becomes a place of God’s abundant provision, I will reflect peaceful gratitude rather than waiting in the world’s-longest-checkout-line-because-all-the-checkers-are-on-break with palpable annoyance.
I’ve heard it said that our check books and our planners are a good indicator of our god/God. As our planet gets more-and-more whacked, I believe the Spirit-led stewardship of our kairos will make all the difference. People need to see the change in us and the quality of our lives — not just our intellectual ascent to the concepts of faith. The world is waiting…
I’d love to spend more time on this, but I have an appointment…
Want an adventure? Suspend time. Go for the kairos in your chronos. At the beginning of the day, ask God to reset your watch…guarantee you will experience a fulfillment in your day because of it. At the end of the day, look back and measure how it changed the time.
The Carpenter May 27, 2009
Today I listened to Marshall Ganz, Harvard, Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and community organizer. If you want to get something done on a social-activist level, you need to hear what this guy has to say.
Among other things, Mr. Ganz pointed out the difference between a carpenter and a tool.
Well there’s a simple analogy that never crossed my mind, I thought.
Ganz was using it to point out effective leadership strategies to accomplish real change. He explained that tools don’t drive the building of a house, the carpenter does.
I took it down a little different road: Jesus. Literally. Jesus = carpenter. Jesus = Savior. Therefore, carpenter = Savior. Now, my people don’t build things…we pay people who do. So my technical knowledge on the topic is meager, at best. But what I do know is that to become a carpenter, it is common to serve as an apprentice for a few years. As a part of apprenticeship in Europe, it is common to travel to other countries in order to learn different building styles and techniques. That’s where the term “journeyman” comes from. The journey enhances their knowledge; it’s “real world.” I want to be one of those kind of apprentices.
The disciples got the concept of apprenticeship – they trained under Christ for His 3 years of ministry and, as a result, they took on his character and skills – something we can all do. Their personalities and abilities were humbled under Jesus’ training program.
The tools they brought into the workshop were their personalities, gifts and abilities. Peter’s type-A personality, Paul’s wanderlust and transformed compassion, James’ analytical mind all became tools in the Master Carpenter’s hand. Literally, they were foundational in building the framework of Christianity. They changed the world.
Jesus has a vision for what He wants to build but in order to accomplish it He needs you and me to apprentice. So, sign up…and bring your tools.
Want an adventure? Ask yourself: Am I really in the training program or just a tinkering hobbyist? Have I let my journey enhance my knowledge – or am I sticking too close to the safety of home? What tools do I have in my toolbox? What tools do I need to complete the project I’m called to do? What would it take to become a journeyman?
Getting the message May 26, 2009
“All great happenings, great and small, are parables whereby God speaks, the art of life is to get the message.”
~ Malcolm Muggeridge, British journalist
Want an adventure? Think about your day. What parables did you live? How did God speak to you today in great and small ways?
Buzz-kill May 25, 2009
My nephew graduated last week! Man, what a big deal to think this chubby cheeked darling has grown into a capable man ready to strike out on his own. Get ready Florida State! Since the big day life has been a series of parties, celebratory meals and fun. And, my daughter will follow in his footsteps in one short year! Time is so bizarre — one minute it barely creeps by (like the diaper stage), the next it’s sporting feather-weight track shoes (like the high school years).
As I listened to the commencement speakers I thought the same: On some levels life is so feather-weight. Fun, dancing in the lunchroom, sporting events, excitement, drama. As I watched the ceremony I noticed a distinct focus on the “believe in yourself,” “take the money off the table and make the most of it” speeches. All great sentiments. All sincere wishes for a wonderful future. Yet, I can’t help but feel they are a set-up. A distraction for the easily persuaded.
Not to be the proverbial “buzz-kill” on the post grad party but, where does God fit in?
Yes, there is little that can stop us when we believe in who we are created to be. But without proper perspective of who we are in the grand scheme of things, our self-assessment becomes nothing more than an ego trip. Without adding purpose, these concepts can only lead to disillusionment. Here, I want the lead-weight of what lasts. The admonition needs to be: believe in yourself as God made you, take your money off the table and make the most of it for the Kingdom. As trite as it may sound, this tweek of perspective changes everything. Adding the lense of the eternal changes my character, my ambition, my estimate of success…truly, it has the capacity to change the world.
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11
Want an adventure? Add the “lense of the eternal” to your plans today. Looking at what you have to do on your schedule, how can you use your day to build God’s Kingdom?
Dirty dishing with God May 22, 2009
Thought a spoonful of comedic sugar may help this go down:
Matthew 23:23-26 (MSG)
23-24“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that’s wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?
25-26“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You burnish the surface of your cups and bowls so they sparkle in the sun, while the insides are maggoty with your greed and gluttony. Stupid Pharisee! Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something.
Want an adventure? God knows where all the dirt sticks in your life. So, where is that? Be real about what needs to get broken. Break your life dishes before Him. (Sounds much easier than the traditional religious method — eh?) Start over. Let the Master Potter set the table with His best everyday. Rest in the basics: You. God. His voice.