Last year was the year after the Wedding. It was also a year filled with running. I think it started with the adrenaline rush of planning an event as big as a wedding and spilled over into the small tasks of daily living. I began to live for list-making and list-crossing-off. I read tons of motivating productivity blogs, like Simple Mom, Fly Lady, and LifeHacker. I wanted to streamline every process, eliminate waste and clutter in daily life. ..and every closet, car trunk, and cabinet. I tried to plan each minute and coordinate them with my big red planner; efficiency was the ultimate goal.
It was thrilling, I will admit. By the time Christmas rolled around, I had a mostly organized home (it's hard to maintain perfect order) and a well-planned new year, but my heart was speedracing through the Christmas Eve service. For no reason. Here we were, all the way in South Carolina to celebrate the holidays with family, nothing in the world on my plate to stress me, and my heart was pounding so loud and fast during the solo that I looked at Dean to see if he could hear it.
Something was off. For a right-brained person like myself, learning the skills of organization and running an efficient home are worthy goals...these things don't come naturally to me, as to others (My dear friend Kelley is a Professional Organizer!). But shouldn't there be some balance? Shouldn't I know how to work when it's time to work, and play and relax and enjoy life when it is time for those things?
Ecclesiastes 3:1 - "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven."
So I picked up a highly-recommended book, The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath, by Mark Buchanan.
In it, he describes time this way:
"Embedded in the Greek language were two distinct words for "time." The first word is chronos --familiar to us because it's the root of many of our own words: chronology, chronicle, chronic. It is the time of clock and calendar, time as a gauntlet, time as a forced march. The word derives from one of the gods in the Greek pantheon. Chronos was always consuming, never consummated...Chronos is the presiding deity of the driven....
The second Greek word is kairos. This is time as a gift, as opportunity, as season. It is time pregnant with purpose. In kairos time you ask, not "What time is it?" but "What is this time for?" Kairos is the servant of holy purpose." (page 36)
What is this time for?
When God created us, He designed our moments with a clear purpose in mind for each one.
Imagine asking yourself, not "Do I have time to go to the gym before Lost comes on?" but rather facing the clock, or better, asking the Lord in your heart, "What is this moment for?"
As I have begun this simple practice in my heart, I hear such clear directives. Sometimes, I want to read, and He has told me "this moment is for you to rest. Take a nap." And sometimes, He has nudged me and shown me that this moment is perfect for sweeping the floor.
Each moment has a purpose.
A moment to decorate a home for the holidays.
A moment to bask in the glow.
A moment for exercise.
A moment to share with others.
A moment to love.
A moment to come home.
This new year is already one of deeper breaths, of slower steps, of less lists and yet more accomplished. In the days to come, I will share with you my journey of learning to slow down, to listen, and to celebrate the Sabbath.