Time Change

This weekend, we lose an hour of time. Daylight savings time is a tool that men came up with to measure and use something very elusive. Try to define time. How would you do it? Physicists, philosophers, construction workers and prison inmates would all give very different explanations. Here are three thoughts about time to mull over as you switch your clocks:

– The Greeks had two words that we translate “time”: kronos and kairos. Kronos is how we generally think of time; linear events moving along, a clock ticking, people living their lives here. It is the word that Luke uses to tell us that Elizabeth had reached the day of giving birth to John – “her time had come” (Luke 1:57). Kairos is much more complex and involves a spiritual dimension. Opportunities, ages and occasions are all part of the concept. A professor of mine used to explain it as “big time” – time with a capital “T”, outside of our ability to measure or even understand it. It is the word which Jesus uses to describe the “time of temptation” in which the people who have no root fall away from the faith (Luke 8:13). There is no direct equivalent in English, which indicates that we tend to focus on kronos, to our own impoverishment.

– God made time. Just as He created dirt, trees and people, so He created days, months and years. People have created calendars to try and measure and use the time which God has made. The Mayans, the Jews, the Roman Emperors, the Chinese, have all tried to come up with accurate ways of measuring this thing that God created. We have done a fairly good job at tweaking things to the point where our western calendar only has an extra day every four years to keep us on track. But we cannot be fully accurate in our measurement because we are just creatures, still trying after thousands and thousands of years to come to grips with an incredibly complex aspect of creation. God is the only One who really understands time – kronos and kairos.

– Time is running out. Revelation 22:11 tells us that “the time (kairos) is at hand.” Kronos is rushing towards Judgement day – the ultimate Kairos. At the time of Christ’s return, time will come to an end with the rest of creation. This weekend, we are that much closer to using up the kronos in our life account. And how we use it will affect what judgement we will recieve on the Last Day. Believers’ salvation will not be in jeopardy – Christ paid for their sins once for all. But the Bible is very clear that how you use your kronos will impact God’s judgement of your life in the Kairos. (I Cor. 3:122-14)

This weekend is a good time to pause a moment as we lose an hour to praise God for His unfathomable creation and ask for His blessing as we live in time and space for His eternal glory.