“Where Have all the Flowers Gone” made famous by Peter, Paul, and Mary in the 1960’s celebrated the meaning of “time”and it’s impact upon societal evolution, during that period of political and social unrest in our country. The lyrics also spoke to the value of time upon humankind and how it was appropriated. And so these simple lyrics (check them out) have inspired my following thoughts concerning how we value time today in our culture driven by the next fad or event that can make me happy and in many cases forget the pain..
Do you ever feel like you were once young and carefree and then blinked one day and found yourself to be fourty years old? (Some of us have a hard time remembering what fourty looked like!) The seasons of time have a way of passing us by very quickly-yet the older I become, the more I am realizing the importance of time as a daily adventure in God’s Great Scheme of things, rather than seconds, minutes, days, and months endlessly ticking by with little meaning or purpose. A friend of mine recently shared this quote. “It is not the harvest at the end of the day that matters, but the seeds we have planted along the way.” If we are listening, each moment of every day can be an adventure just waiting to happen and what seemed like a meaningless moment in time can blossom into a New and Great Adventure!
Presently, I am sitting in Big Meadows Lodge on beautiful Sky Line Drive in Virginia overlooking beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Where has all the time gone? My grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles brought me here when I was just 10 years old. As our children grew through the years, Diana and I brought them and a horde of friends to experience the beauty that is Shenandoah. And now, here I am with five of eight grandkids and parents doing the same hiking, deer chasing, bear hunting, and waterfalls splashing that we have enjoyed since seemingly time began in my young life.
Time can be our best friend or our worst enemy, a very wise friend recently told me. It is simply how you view time. As I talk with so many especially young people today, I see hopeless struggle to find purpose and meaning in life. Time has become an evil slave master filled only with hopelessness, despair, and lack of joy- where in some cases, drugs alcohol, and criminal behavior have filled the void. What is even more disturbing is seeing Christians, who should have the greatest reason to be Joyful sounding much like Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes, where in chapter one he laments,” There is nothing to anything…What is there to show for a lifetime of work?…One generatioin fades away and the next one arrives, but nothing changes…Everything is utterly boring; no one can find meaning in it (time).” (Ecclesiastes Chapter 1-The Message Bible)
But what if God has a Bigger Plan in mind for Time as we live and know it- not endless monotony, but a short expanse of time filled with endless possibilities that could bring fulfillment and purpose? James 4:14 declares,” For what is your life? It is like a vapor that appears for a time and then vanishes.” If this is true, why are we wasting even one second of time when God has so much more in store for us to experience and enjoy?
I want to conclude by examining the word Time from God’s Perspective in the New Testament. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” I believe, brothers and sisters, like Queen Ester, “For such a Time as this,” we have been summoned by God to be that “City set upon a hill that cannot be Hidden,”and like the Sons of Issachar, to discern the Signs of the Times and act accordingly with the wisdom and time granted to us!
This brings me to two Greek Words each used for the word Time-Chronos and Kairos. To make it simple, Chronos time is time witnessed in 24 hour segments that simply rolls on and on-second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour with no end in sight- much like the lives of many who simply exist and have no expectation of anything happening or changing. Kairos, in contrast, is used for time in the above scripture in Ephesians. Kairos Time refers to an appointed time, an opportune moment, or a season in life whose time has come. The problem is this-when we are living in Chronos Time expecting nothing to happen, we will get just that-Nothing! We then miss what Paul is saying in Ephesians 5:15-16. As Christ Followers, we have been given one moment in time to seize that moment, redeeming Kairos Time and taking advantage of opportunities , times, and seasons!
What does this practically mean? Personally, it requires a mental shift. As believers, we must realize that we have been called, chosen, and anointed with Power in this Hour of Time to see our purpose fulfilled and destiny attained. There is no room in a Believer’s mindset to meander through life simply trying to make it to the next day. We must seize the Kairos moment granted us. Secondly, dont get hung up in living out Chronos time where you miss the Kairos Moment granted you. Simply put,” With Chronos Time , we count our years while with Kairos Time , we make our years count!” Divine Appointments are Kairos Moments where your Life , at the exact right moment in time, intersects with another in need of a Savior’s Love.
Psalms 90:12 tells us,” to number our days that we might apply our hearts with wisdom.” I don’t know how much Chronos Time that I have left, but one thing that I do desire, is to listen and be aware of every Kairos Moment of opportunity granted me.