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What Is This Time For?


“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

What is time, anyway? Just some arbitrary numerical assignment based on the rotation of the earth? A way to keep track of when to eat lunch? Or how long ‘till we get to clock out? Modern man has done an impressive job of keeping track of time. According to “”: Atomic clocks deviate only 1 second in about 20 million years. The international System of Units (SI) defines one second as the time it takes a Cesium-133 atom at the ground state to oscillate exactly 9,192,631,770 times. Wow!!

The clocks in our external brains (cell phones) in turn, receive radio signals that keep them in sync with this ridiculously accurate time. So we know EXACTLY what time it is when we check our phones every three minutes.

And yet we still lose track of time. Hmmm….

The Greeks had two words for time.
“Chronos” is the root for several of our “time and date” words like chronology, chronometer, and chronicles. The time of the clock. In Greek mythology, Chronos was often depicted as an old, wise man with a long beard. Father time. Time as a tool, time to be planned, scheduled, and measured. Quantitative.

But also sometimes portrayed in artwork as a wild eyed ogre of a man eating his own children. Disturbing. Time that nags, accuses, and devours. Time that waits for no man. Frantic, anxious ridden time. The digital atomic clock that keeps track out to the millionth of a second. Time as a slave master.
In summary “Chronos” asks, and sometimes demands:


“Kairos”, on the other hand, is entirely different. Meaning “the right or opportune moment; a period or season, a moment of indeterminate time in which an event of significance happens.” Spontaneous, joyful, invigorating. And at the same time somehow restful. Pure gift. Pure grace. Sabbath. While we can be prepared for it, we can’t create it. We’re just called to recognize it and be willing to respond to the invitation. While time waits for no man, God is the creator of time. He is sovereign. Kairos time is God’s gift that beckons us to trust in His sovereignty. To trust in His provision. To trust in His goodness.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:11)

In summary “Kairos” asks, and the Holy Spirit nudges:

What is this time for?

Don’t get me wrong. This side of heaven in this broken world, we need chronos to provide some sense of order. But it should be a tool we use to help order our days and our lives, not a tyrant that orders us around. And as tempting as it may sound, we can’t live in Kairos time 24/7. At least not yet.

So I encourage you to keep watch for those nuggets of Kairos, those grace filled glimpses of heaven that God provides and uses to prepare us for eternity.

Then respond and enjoy God’s goodness and Grace!


Rage Against the Machine with Love


“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:35


I recently read articles from two leading political writers on opposite sides of the spectrum. These gentlemen can often be found on talk shows or on the editorial pages of some of today’s leading newspapers and magazines, which is to say that I am told they are smart and worthy of my attention. Well they won’t get it.

One of them: “The experience of mass movements…seems to suggest individuals can do little to affect the course of events. When we do indulge our hopes and take seriously our wishes, they’re often frustrated by reality.”

And the other, “There are essentially two ways to maintain order and get things done in [our] society — politics or some form of dictatorship.”

To these two writers I channel my inner Whitman and “sound my barbaric yawp!” I offer the pessimists an alternative: real change can occur if we love one another.

In business it is often said “don’t try to boil the ocean.” It is simply too insurmountable a task to unilaterally alter the course of world events. Besides, to my knowledge only one person has ever accomplished that and you are not Him.

When I was a young, eager banker I was given a copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Life changing for me it was not, but I do recall one principle from that book that stuck: know your sphere of influence and live inside of it. It is a complete and utter waste of my time to concern myself with things outside of my control.

Concerning myself with labor utilization in Siberia does me no good because what in the world can I do about it anyway? Instead I should focus my limited time and energy on matters where I can make a difference.

Instead of turning up the heat in the Pacific, I could dedicate my limited time and resources to things that may truly make a difference. Instead of being a clanging cymbal (Cor 13:1) I might be a spark that starts a fire. Instead of changing the world I may start by improving my neighborhood.

On a walk this week I picked up a discarded can near my street and threw it away. Did I impact global climate change? No. Did I stand on the corner and rail against global polluters and Big Aluminum? Of course not. Did I even tell anyone about my deed? Not until now (and let’s commit to keep this between the few hundred thousand of us international friends, OK?).

Want to end global poverty? You can grow food for every starving mouth in Asia, or volunteer at Larimer County Food Bank. They feed hundreds of children right here in our community, every day. Do you care about abortion? You can try to overturn Roe vs. Wade, or you can learn more about Lutheran Family Services or any of the myriad crisis pregnancy centers serving women who need your help. Do you wish people were less crude and more generous? Then model that behavior at work, at home and in public.

I take second place to nobody when it comes to complaining about all of that out there. I would be better served spending my efforts on all of this right here.

I’m sure I am not telling you something you don’t already know. So then why don’t we do it? Patience.  Aquinas identified patience as a necessary virtue for earthly happiness (felicitas). If you want to be truly happy, according to Aquinas, who is smarter than you, you must possess patience. This is the main reason that happiness eludes me.

So let’s try this:

  • Be patient.
  • Be a model for patience to others.
  • That will certainly lead to loving one another, which will make it much easier to…
  • Love One Another

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