HAPPY NEW YEAR! A new year is here!
How will you spend your time in the New Year? What will be done with the 24 hours of each day for the next 52 weeks … those precious 3,760 hours?
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 refers to 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
… creating – something artistic … a craft, a painting, handmade card … anything
… 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
… walking in and around a garden or gardening
… 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
Many are asking ’soul-questions’ these days, as concerns about our world (the politics, personal/medical crises, the pandemic, climate change, gun control, treatment of refugees, abusive tweets by political leaders, terrorism, the negativity, the anger, racism) overwhelm people 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, seems to be lost.
Usually, we’re very good when it comes to the Chronos dimension of time. Some even have their New Year’s calendars already partially filled-in! However, the Kairos dimension seems to be more elusive. It doesn’t have to be.
As the New Year unfolds, let us
… 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 which might be one of stress, anxiety, fear
… be mindful of a global connectedness: humanitarian concerns, climate change concerns, justice concerns.
What if, this coming year, we were intentionally and more intimately connected with Kairos, with our spirituality? Might that encourage us when we are discouraged? Might that bring healing to our world? Bring healing to ourselves? Might that move us into becoming more aware of the need of self-care and intentional moments of nurturing our spirituality and expressing ourselves creatively? If you are asking – or what to consider asking yourself – “soul questions”, you might find this helpful: https://www.soulistry.com/soul-questions-blog-posts
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.
T.S. Eliot wrote:
“Last year’s words belong to last year’s language. Next year’s words await another voice.
To make an end is to make a beginning.”
What a great way to enter a new year!
Amen. May it be so. Amen
(‘amen’ means — ‘may it be so’)
Happy New Year!
The “Happy New Year” calligraphic design is used with permission of the artist: Julie Wildman