Monday, May 7, 2012

Time: Friend or Foe

I'm learning the need to see time from a different perspective. So often time is my foe. I have plans for my life and there just doesn't seem to be enough time to accomplish them. Soon I realize a decade has gone by and I still haven't achieved my goal.

Since this is always the case, there must be a flaw in my perspective, my plan or my thinking in some way. Following the Movements of the Spirit, Henri Nouwen, teaches that we need to view time as kairos instead of chronos. Chronos is chronology, the events of our life connected by time over which we have no control. Kairos is an opportunity for a change of heart. Both are Greek words for time, but very different in concept. Kairos carries a more mystical sense, an awareness that defining, moments can break into the chronology of time at any point, or that every moment defines a life.

"Time needs to be converted from chronos to kairos...The spiritual life is a formation process in which time slowly loses its opaqueness and becomes transparent. To start seeing that the many events of our day, week, or year are not obstacles to a full and meaningful life, but the way to it, is a real experience of conversion. Once we discover that writing letters, attending classes, visiting friends, cooking food, and even doing the dishes are not a series of random activities but contain within themselves the transforming power of re-creation, we move from time lived as chronos to time lived as kairos (right time, the real moment, the opportunity for change, the chance of a lifetime). When our time becomes kairos, endless new possibilities and opportunities open up to our vision." ~Following the Movements of the Spirit.

I'm reminded again of the words by John Lenin, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

Year after year we could be missing our real life by planning for another one that will never exist.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't have goals or make plans. We must. But, let us rethink the plans, make sure they're simple, doable, and embrace interruptions as opportunities to grow, change, even remold our plans. A good example is writing a novel. The author comes up with a good plot summary (chronological time line of events to happen in the character's life), but part way through the book, the author realizes that the character's life is going a different direction. Time to adjust the plot summary.

Lord, let me embrace time as a friend, welcoming the interruptions You allow, rather than fighting time as my arch enemy. Thank You for the gift of time that You've allotted for my life, may I live each moment pleasing you no matter what arises.

No comments:

Post a Comment