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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Contemplating Time

It happens every Fall.  The beginning of a new school year and consequently, a new routine and schedule for everyone, sends me for a loop.  I am in a tizzy trying to adjust and fit in all that needs to happen in a day. 

I am a girl who loves her To-Do list.  I love it so much that I make my list in the evening for the next day and if something comes up that was not on my original list, and I do it, I'll write it down, just so I can cross it off.  Anyone else out there do that too?  {Oh, please say yes!}

You see, I am a girl who loves to manage time well.  To me it is a key component to keeping all my plates spinning and things running smoothly for my family.  It never fails, if I don't plan my time well, the trickle down effect will snowball out of control and my kids and husband usually end up paying the price.  Or our budget does {in the form of an unexpected meal out, or a rush to buy something we already own but haven't had time to search out and find} and don't even get me started on that.

But in my haste to accomplish all that is on my To-Do list, I end up focusing on the doing rather than the savoring, or being.  The ancient Greeks had two words for time.  Chronos refers to actual time attached to a clock or a calendar.  The chronological passing of time.  The second aspect of time was kairos.  An expression of time as a gift to be savored or relished.  It doesn't express a measurement of time as much as the potential within that moment.

Look at it this way:  Chronos asks us what time or season we are in.  Kairos asks what can we make of this moment or season.  Chronos keeps us looking at our day timers.  Yes, I said day timers.  I'm a pen and paper girl.  I'd probably be a chisel and stone girl if it wasn't so heavy,  I am just that out-dated!  No fancy technology for me.  Chronos keeps us tied to the To-Do list and drives our days.  It keeps us checking our watches.

Kairos, on the other hand, invites us to fill in all the slots of our days with joy, laughter, delight; pack it full of potential.  Kairos would rather dip her toes in the river and tarry a few minutes, than to rush past the river saying, "Sure wish I had time to stop and dip a toe, but I gotta go!"

We are all given the same measure of chronos time each day.  But, what are we doing with it?   Are we treating life like the special occasion it is?  Are we hurriedly rushing about accomplishing, or are we slowing to savor the moment?

We all have busy schedules, full time commitments.  But if we slow down and live in the moment, we just might change chronos time into kairos moments.

I've been slowing time's rushing current by joining Ann Voskamp in listing my gifts.  Not gifts I want, but gifts I have been given.  Doing so allows me to live fully, right where I am, savoring the little things in life.  Give it a try, if you aren't already doing so. In the whir of day's dizzying spin, take a moment, breathe soul deep and give thanks for the gifts you've been given.



  1. loved how you spelled out the difference between the two TIMES. Loved it! Have you read 1000 gifts? such a good book about savoring the TIME we have here on earth. I am sure you have stumbled upon it here in blogland...but if you haven't it's a quick but COMPELLING read. I hope you have new revelations of Time this season and staying in themoment but also being organized.

  2. Oh, yes. I've read 1,000 gifts - multiple times. Couldn't love it more!!