“Man must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind him to the fact that each moment in life is a miracle and a mystery.” – Author H.G. Wells
Certainly, you’ve heard that the Texas House has passed a resolution that would permit Texans to vote on what’s called “Texas Time,” which would establish year-round standard time or year-round daylight savings time. So, if passed in the Texas Senate, citizens would be able to decide whether to “set their time” and avoid the twice a year changing of all the clocks in your home, your vehicle, your business and even the watch on your wrist.
When I mentioned what the Texas lawmakers were contemplating to my wife she responded that she loves the way it is now with the added light in the evenings.
“That’s fine”, I replied, “except it’s really not so great for those little elementary kids waiting for their school busses in the early morning darkness.”
So as with most issues, there’s arguments to be made on both sides. It’s also true that since our very beginnings, man has tried his best to control that thing we call “time.” It’s still a mystery that continues to baffle mankind and the only sense of agreement is that we can’t seem to have enough of it. Doesn’t it seem like we’re always running out of it and then doing our best to recover it?
Best selling author Sarah Ban Breathmach in her book “Simple Abundance” reminds us that it was the ancient Greeks who noted time’s Gemini-like twin nature which they described as Chronos and Kairos. Understanding the difference between the two, Breathmach writes that “Chronos means clocks, deadlines, calendars, agenda, planners, schedules, alarms and beepers. It is time at its worst, but it’s what keeps us all on track. It is the world’s time.”
“Kairos, on the other hand, is transcendence, infinity, reverence, joy, passion, love – the sacred. Kairos is intimacy – time at its very best. To it, we exist in Chronos while we long for Kairos.”
That, it seems to me, is the duality of our relationship to time. Better said, “We do in Chronos; in Kairos we’re allowed to be.”
For each of us in our busy, task-filled and overly scheduled lives, we would do well to consciously try, as often as we can, to remove ourselves from the never-ending Chronos mode of schedules, meetings, deadlines and the frantic pace to “get it done” and invest in living in Kairos.
It can be done. It may mean simplifying your life. It also requires doing more of those things you love where time doesn’t seem to exist. Do that something you would do “if you only had the time” by making it so.
Why not invest in yourself in Kairos time. Listen to your favorite music, take a walk in the woods, make home-made ice cream, hold someone’s hand and quietly pretend time doesn’t exist. Call a person who inspires you, draw, watch a sunset, linger and stare at the moon, watch children at play.
Celebrate your life in a way that defies the minutes and hours on the clock. Be at peace. I believe those ancient Greeks got it right. While we may work in Chronos, we live and find joy in Kairos.