HAPPY NEW YEAR!
A new year is here! How will you spend your time in the New Year? What will you do with the 24 hours of each day for the next 52 weeks
… those precious 3,760 hours? Will you/will I be good caretakers/stewards of the time given us?
The Greeks used two words to explain the different dimensions of time: Chronos and Kairos. Chronos refers to those chronologically-connected activities such as work school, volunteer events, meetings, medical appointments, doing the laundry, picking up the groceries, putting out the garbage, taking the children to their after-school activities. ‘Kairos’ is elusive. It’s those treasured moments when we make time to simply “be” … when we get in touch with our true selves … when we see the ordinary about us and know that there is something/SomeOne greater than ourselves. Kairos is where challenge and opportunity meet and when creativity and spirituality interconnect.
Kairos are those moments we spend sitting by the bedside of a sick child quietly reading a book … seeing a newborn baby … watching a caterpillar burst into a beautiful butterfly … noting the formation of clouds on the horizon … being reassured by the gentle purring of a cat or nuzzling of a dog … hearing a piece of music that sends shivers up our spine … receiving and giving a hug … having a smile returned by a stranger … enjoying the quiet prayer / meditation time in the tub or shower … being aware of the gift of our breath unassisted by mechanical means … holding the hand of someone who is dying … slowly eating a meal, truly tasting and appreciating the gift that it is … having fun in the kitchen making jam, a casserole, or cookies you’ll share with another … gasping at the rainbow that arcs across the horizon … walking through a cemetery and being aware of the frailty and fragility of your life … laughing a deep, from the belly-kind-of-laugh … reading a portion of Scripture you’ve read countless times before and having it leap from the page with a meaning never before encountered … receiving a gift from another who, for no reason, chose to bless your day by giving you a present of time or their presence or material possession … sitting in silence before the ocean or fireplace and hearing, in that silence, affirmation that you are a person the Creator chose to call into being and that you are deeply loved
Usually, we’re very good when it comes to Chronos. In face, many of us have our next year’s calendars already partially filled-in! I know I do. 🙂 However, Kairos seems more elusive. As the New Year unfolds, may we … make time to ’smell the flowers’ … recognize healing and compassionate presence in another’s smile, touch, phone call, visit, letter, embrace, handshake, eye contact, tears … encounter silence and solitude as ‘gift’ from the Creator … see beyond the immediate moment and experience a global connectedness.
Many are asking ’soul-questions’ these days as concerns about … terrorism … the global economy … personal/medical crises … climate change … gun control and more overwhelm. Overwhelm to the point that the ability to play, to delight in, to be amazed, to forgive, to be in awe, to be creative, to put love into action
What if, this coming year, we were intentionally and more intimately connected with Kairos, with our spirituality.
May both Chronos and Kairos bring blessings into this world and to each person in the coming New Year in ways far more than can be asked or imagined.
Happy New Year!
Text © june maffin