stepping out of the grip of time

As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says,

“At just the right time, I heard you.
    On the day of salvation, I helped you.”

Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2

So here we are, sitting on the front stoop waiting for Rebekah to get home for dinner. She may be retiring, and she may be emptying her office one more Toyota SUV-load at a time, but she is still fully engaged with the life of this amazing church. And this week – like most of the 2,032 weeks since we arrived in Pensacola to get this preacher thing rolling – is phenomenally busy.

There is a rhythm to this ministry journey that has become essentially the heartbeat of our life together. I guess it is a lot like breathing, in that you don’t realize how vital it is until you stop. But it is more a rhythm of the spirit than of the body, because Rebekah has seldom if ever repeated the same day.

Some work is so predictable and methodical it can be accomplished without much thought or attention. Being a preacher isn’t at all like that – or at least it shouldn’t be.

I worked at a factory once, doing piecework where I performed the same series of tasks that had been designed to repeat every minute and fifty seconds. I had a ten second window, and if I got below 1:45 I could produce more widgets on my shift and earn a little more. If I crept above a 1:55 my already minimal wage would begin to go down.

But when I punched my clock-card and walked away I was done. The rhythms of ministry, however, are 24-7, and this life is not of chronos – Χρόνος – it is of kairos – Χαιρός. This is important to understand because it suggests also that our time is set not by the Royal Observatory in Greenwich but by the King of Kings for The Kingdom of Heaven.

Timekeeping in retirement is often looked forward to as mañana; but for Rebekah and for me, still living in the grace of this divine rhythm, I look forward to even more of Χαιρός.

All of modern life, all of technology, all navigation and exploration, all travel from space to local transportation, all business, all banking and commerce, all posting on the Internet, all the efforts humankind apply to make sense and order of life on Earth… all of this depends on timekeeping and a common understanding of chronos.

In a sense, I think I might enjoy stepping out of the grip of time. At least in my soul. At the heart of who I am I want to explore the depths of the divine rhythms of kairos…


God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end… – Ecclesiastes 3:11

Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace. – Luke 1:78-79

One comment

  1. This is a very interesting post. Time is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. The Lord has especially been teaching me how to be a better steward of my time. Thank you for this Derek.


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