A note from Kelly King: How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions? If one of your goals is to take control of time management, how are you doing with that? If this is a struggle, I encourage you to read Rachel Lovingood’s article today on the perspective of time and how we can take notice of God-ordained moments.
It’s January and you know what that means: lots of articles and stories on how to organize your life, lose weight, and find more time in your day. It’s the same every year; our obsession with these things continues, and though people do find success in many areas of their lives, no one has ever been able to actually change the amount of time we have in each day.
I’m just like anyone else, so I read all the articles and advice, and nothing really changed. I still struggled with time management challenges and the frustrations that come with having a busy life and trying to be a good steward of my time—until I learned something that changed my perspective on time and the quest to have more of it. This is not original to me, but it has had a huge impact on my life as a leader. I share it with you in the hope that you too can enjoy the difference it makes when you gain a new perspective.
There are two words in the Greek that are translated as “time.” Chronos is one of them, and it refers to the passing of time literally—as in seconds, minutes, and hours. This is the aspect of time that we have absolutely no control or influence over. Kairos is the other word translated as time, and it refers more to the concept of a “God-ordained moment” or “opportunity.”
What hit me when I discovered this was how badly I had things turned around. I tended to stress and focus on the chronos and missed out on the value of the kairos. How many kairos moments had I missed because I was so busy running a crazy schedule and thinking more about time than I was about the opportunities God was bringing me in the midst of my daily life?
You see, kairos moments are those seemingly random times that God has you in the exact spot at the exact same time as someone else so that He can use you. These are Kingdom moments—the ones that make a difference for eternity and help us fulfill our calling. They can be as simple as a conversation, a prayer, or a brief encounter, but they are NOT coincidences; they are kairos moments.
Think about your life. How would it be different if you stopped focusing on what you can’t change and instead gave your attention and energy to what you can? How would that affect your ministry? Your life? Your influence? You may be thinking “Who has time to do anything else?” I get it. Most people stress out if they think they have to figure out how to add something else to their already overcrowded lives and schedules. It’s impossible.
That’s the beauty of this kairos perspective; you don’t have to add ANYTHING to your schedule. It’s all about seeing the opportunities that God is offering in your life already. It means being sensitive to the moments that He lays out before you as you are working, watching your kids play ball, walking in your neighborhood, hanging out with friends, or even shopping for groceries. When the Holy Spirit nudges that you should engage someone in conversation or pray with a friend or be extra kind to a server at a restaurant, those can be kairos moments, and they add so much joy, purpose, and fullness to our lives without adding any time to our schedules. (Can I get an amen?)
We are here to make a difference in the world around us—to represent Jesus and share the gospel as we go about our lives. Having a kairos perspective is a HUGE key to actually living the life that God calls us to and finally winning in the race with time.
At the start of this New Year, while the slate is still clean and you are setting some priorities, why not resolve now to focus on finding God’s opportunities in the every day? Start each day asking God to make you sensitive to His Holy Spirit and the moments that He has ordained for you. It’s a change you will be blessed by making.
This is not just my conviction. God has some strong words to say about how we spend our time also. One of my favorite places is Ephesians 5:15-16 that says it this way:
“Pay careful attention, then, to how you live—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time (kairos), because the days are evil.”
That’s pretty clear and pretty good advice for us as we make the most of our days in 2018.
Rachel is the Senior Associate Pastor’s wife and a women’s leader at First Baptist Church, Cleveland, Tennessee, as well as a LifeWay Women’s Trainer. She is co-author of a Bible study for ministers’ wives called, In Our Shoes: Real Life Issues for Ministers’ Wives by Ministers’ Wives, as well as Even More and Salvaging My Identity, both of which are 40-day experiences for teenage girls and young women. She is a wife of a minister, a mom of three fantastic kids, a friend, a writer, and a teacher. Her experiences working in youth ministry as well as women’s ministry in various churches across the country have developed in her a deep love for women and a mission to help enable them to live victoriously in spite of the struggles they face.