Saturday, April 01, 2006

What Time Is It?

I love California! As a long-time midwesterner, and Minnesotan, I am really enjoying living in a place surrounded by mountains, the ocean, and greenness. Everything grows here all the time. Oh, there are some trees that drop there leaves and bud out in the later spring, but they seem to be a minority status. Seasons mean that things grow fast or grow not so fast, but they always grow. The church gardening crew comes every Friday to trim, mow, weed, prune, leaf blow, or whatever growing things need attending to. After every period of rain, new things are blooming and greening. I'm not a plant person like my wife, but I do notice new colored blooms on the trees.
Because of this location, the various growers always have fields in play for some crop. I will need to figure those out over the years. But when we drive south to Ventura, or beyond, to LA, we drive by fields that are mixed; some are deep brown dirt and other ones, right next to them, are lush with crops, some even being picked by armies of workers. All year long something is growing, something is lying fallow, and something is being picked. My wife calls it "repetitive motion". The same activity but in different fields with different crops.
That comment, "repetitive motion", struck a chord in me. It reflects life in the contemporary church, especially the church disconnected from the church year, with its distinct seasons, colors, and music. While departing from the church year here has been my choice, electing to preach the big themes of the Bible, I have felt sort of disconnected from sacred time. Gratefully, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter are coming. We will then return to the church year post Easter and into the summer. But the challenge remains; to know what time it is.
How do you know what time it is in your life? Is it chronological age? Is it your place in regards to singleness-marriage-kids-empty-nest? what? Is your clock a career clock? and acquistion clock? a property or salary clock? Do you choose your own time or is time external to you, something assigned? How does your worshiping community inform you of the time in your life?
Seminary days taught me the big diference between chronos (linear, sequential time) and kairos (fruti-bearing, ripening, maturing time).
I guess in this new place, with warmth and sun, and the temptation to repetitive motion, I need help knowing what time it is for me and for the church.


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At 12:57 PM , Anonymous Kalon Kelley said...

How can one think about time in relationship to our lives without harking back to Ecclesiastes and the wisdom therein: "For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven"?

Of course, there is another take on this: "God put me on this earth to accomplish certain things. I am so far behind I will never die!" (misquoted from somewhere or other).


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