Last year seemed to fly by. Yet when I reflected before welcoming 2024, I realized the number of days in the year remained the same, as well as the number of hours in each day and seconds in a minute.

As I enter this new year I notice my focus on the calendar. I refer to my calendar when checking on upcoming appointments and commitments, determining how to spend my time. In some ways it feels as though my calendar governs me. Maybe you feel similarly? It seems that in some seasons, the demands of work and ministry coupled with responsibilities in our personal lives fill the hours in our days so that we have little margin.

Sometimes when I look at my calendar I feel overwhelmed. In some ways it seems as though my time is not my own, and yet, God created me to steward the days He gives. I ponder with God how to best spend the time He gives me. Am I using time wisely? Am I living life to the full as He intends?

How about you? Does your calendar overwhelm you? Have you ever said a phrase like – “so many things to do, so little time?”

Although my calendar dictates much, I want to live with a subtle shift in 2024. Let me explain. Ancient Greek has two words for time. Chronos referred to quantitative time – the word chronological comes from chronos. We measure this time with a clock face. And, the other Greek word for time is kairos. It occurs numerous times in the New Testament and refers to qualitative time. We observe kairos in moments and events. I desire to live less ruled by chronos time and more aware of kairos time.

Time – The measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues. Time is the continued sequence of existence and events that occurs in an apparently irreversible succession from the past, through the present, and into the future. (Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia)

Used 86 times in the New Testament, kairos refers to an opportune time, a “moment” or a “season” such as “harvest time” (Mark 1:15, Mark 13:33, and Ephesians 1:10). Chronos, on the other hand, appears 54 times referencing a specific amount of time, such as a day or an hour (Matthew 2:7, Acts 13:18, and John 7:33).

While God ordained time as something to be measured offering stability and balance, I wonder if He also invites us to live detached from the confines of time. While living with wisdom in regards to the time given us, we can also live attentive to those moments and seasons when the Spirit stirs and lives are changed (Ephesians 5:15-17). Wonder, margin, and joy result from those moments in time when we live in awe; attentive to the movement of God in fresh ways.

Although Jesus lived in a specific time in world history, many of those He interacted with experienced kairos moments of time. Consider the ways that Zacchaeus, Bartimaeus, the bleeding woman, the disciples, Mary, and even Paul encountered Jesus in an ordinary moment with extraordinary impact.

We live in kairos time when a sunset mesmerizes our eyes, when an adorable puppy brings a smile to our face,  or when a giggling child captivates our heart. When music envelops our soul and we get engrossed reading Scripture, kairos time prevails. Moments like these and others bring an inner thrill from the goodness and grace of God.

Kairos occurs when you visit with a neighbor, momentarily forgetting the laundry in the dryer and dishes in the sink or when you embrace the nudge to pray for someone, only to find out later of their intense struggle. Chronos time appears to stand still in kairos moments.

Reflect and wonder when kairos time invaded your day or week; moments when awe and surprise met you. Thank God for the joy of His presence with you.

To grow into a karios posture we must create margin in our day and plan for unplanned moments on the calendar 🤪. We need space to see, experience, and live into the unpredictable. While we faithfully notice and keep our commitments in chronos time, we also live with anticipation of God-encounters around us and within us, kairos time.

I’m asking God to guide my steps and my heart so that my calendar doesn’t rule me. I want to live aware of God’s grace and be open to His heavenly disruptions to my day. I want to view my days as opportunities to grow with God and allow Him to work in me and around me for His glory.

Join me in this subtle shift for 2024. Live with awe and wonder of God’s presence and His invitations to make the most of the time He gives. Make margin in your calendar for God’s surprises and kairos moments that delight your soul and glorify Him. Welcome the joy of the Lord as you grow in the awareness of His gifts to you and others.

Happy New Year!

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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Ephesians 5:16-17 –  Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Esther 4:14 – For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.

Richard Blackaby. The Seasons of God: How the Shifting Patterns of Your Life Reveal His Purposes for You. Colorado Springs, CO. 2012.

Mark Coppenger. For Such a Time as This: Kampouris and Kairos. Bloomington, IN. 2018.

Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.

Louis Armstrong. So Little Time (So Much To Do).

Jeremy Camp. Keep Me In The Moment.

Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.

January 12 – Breathe Retreat – Littleton, CO

February 21-March 4 – Australia with Gary, on behalf of GTP

March – Lviv, Ukraine – teaching course on soul care at Ukraine Baptist Theological Seminary