Time is a funny thing. As I am sheltering in place with my family, helping my kids navigate on-line school and writing sermons for our virtual worship services, time seems to be dragging. Is it still April? Still 2020? Yet at the same time, this year is flying by! Almost ¼ of the year has passed already, and summer is almost here. When did the leaves turn dark green, and why is it 80 degrees outside?!!
Part of the challenge is that the usual ways I measure time don’t apply right now. I don’t have to get my kids to school by 8 a.m., I don’t have to get to the office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and school night bedtimes aren’t particularly meaningful anymore. Luckily, we are still having our virtual worship services at our regu-lar time of 10:45 a.m. on Sundays, or I might lose track of time altogether!
For someone like me who always likes to know what day and time it is, this has been an adjustment to say the least! I found myself struggling and anxious for a while. But then I remembered that there is a difference be-tween God’s time and human time.
The Biblical Greek word “chronos” refers to regular time, measured in hours and minutes and days – chrono-logical time. That is human time, the time by which we measure our lives and keep up with our to-do lists! But God’s time is different. The Biblical Greek word “kairos” refers to God’s time, which isn’t measured in hours or minutes or days. God’s time is unique, it can’t be measured by humans, and most importantly, it is sacred. It is holy time.
Perhaps this time of sheltering in place and extreme social distancing can actually become a “kairos” experi-ence. Perhaps we can learn to rest in God’s time, experiencing God’s presence and activity and grace in the moment without fretting about hours and minutes and days. Perhaps we can experience God’s holy and sa-cred presence and trust that God is at work, even if we aren’t.
This isn’t an easy challenge, because our lives are structured around “chronos.” But we have an opportunity to open ourselves up to God’s holy presence and experience time in a different way. This can be a time of enforced lock-down, with the minutes and days dragging by. Or, it can be a time of discovery and faith, as we learn to rest in God’s hands and in God’s time.
I encourage you to breathe deeply, pray faithfully, and enjoy this gift of God’s time. I will be doing the same.
Blessings. God be with you until we meet again!!