Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Living Counterclockwise Too

Part of living counterclockwise is realizing what an artificial reality time actually is. It is ironic that the clock was created by medieval monks to regulate the routine of daily devotions at the monasteries. And the unintended consequence of the innovation was that the very contraption designed to draw people toward the divine instead became the means used to manipulate life as we know it. In other words, it could be said that religion helped create the concept of time as measured by a clock.

What is interesting is that there are actually two types of time. One type is described by the Greek word chronos (human time) and it refers to time as measured in minutes by a clock. The other is described by the Greek word kairos (divine time) and it refers to the type of moments that are infused with meaning and cannot be conveniently measured.

Clocks may be valuable tools for chronicling the passage of time, but they are meant to be our servants not our masters. To quote the songwriter James Taylor, “the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.” Life is not about trying to cram even more activity into an already busy lifestyle. It is designed to be a stroll with Jesus along the sands of time until time is no more.

It is helpful to meditate on Acts 17:26, a powerful scripture from The Message about our relationship to time: “God made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God.” All too often, the human race tries desperately to live up to its name. Do yourself a favor: start to think about time from an eternal perspective and enjoy the journey from here to eternity!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Living Counterclockwise

One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is the passage of Matthew 11:28-30 in The Message: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”

While we don’t often think of it this way, I am convinced that one of the reasons that Jesus Christ came to earth was to introduce us to a radical way of relating to time. Notice in the passage above that Jesus said the way to learn the unforced rhythms of grace is “to walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.”

One of the amazing things about the life of Jesus as recorded in Scripture is that you never see Him in a hurry. Even though Jesus is the Son of God and has existed for all of eternity, as a human He never yielded to the tyranny of time. Rather than succumb to peer pressure, even from His parents, He was quick to point out that He was not ruled by time.

The ultimate example of pacing oneself through life was Jesus. He knew He only had a limited time here on earth during which to accomplish His mission, yet He daily resisted the temptation to sacrifice the important for the urgent. If He could lay aside peripheral activities for the sake of a prioritized agenda, surely we can do so ourselves.