Time and Work

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Practicing God's Presence

Righteousness requires training, not trying. It may take months—even years—to form good habits, but every moment matters. The Christian walk is one of ongoing habituation. It involves redeeming the time, doing temporal tasks for the glory of God.

The time and work exercises in A Guide to Practicing God’s Presence can teach you how to live with the end in mind.

Chronos vs. Kairos

First, it is important to learn the difference between chronos and kairos. These are two Greek words for “time.” Chronos refers to “clock time,” while kairos refers to special opportunities and occurrences. God will give you kairos moments you had not planned for. They may seem like interruptions, but view them as invitations to make the most of your time. After all, you may make plans, but God ordains your steps (Proverbs 16:9).

Part of the trouble is our culture tells us that joy comes from accomplishing tasks. But God tells us your joy should not be dependent on how much you work. After all, you cannot control anything, but God can. All you need to do is submit to His will in the kairos moments He gives you—He’ll take care of the outcome.

Balancing Our Schedules

Second, we must build our schedules around what is most important, not the other way around. Many people become “human doings” instead of “human beings.” But God did not create you to live this way. Try to leave margin in your schedule, asking God what to do with your time and limited resources. Learn to recognize the difference between what is important versus what is urgent. For example, it can be tempting to defer time with God, viewing it as expendable because it is not urgent—at least, not according to a limited perspective.

Put aside what clamors for your attention and remember what is eternally important. One way to do so is by building rest and time with God into your schedule—write it down in your calendar. You can also write out reminders to pray throughout your daily tasks.

At the end of the day, submitting your schedule to God is an act of dependence on His Holy Spirit. It is a commitment to reorient your time, preventing your paid work and daily tasks from distracting you from having an eternal perspective.

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