Timing is Everything
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 NLT
Over the past several weeks I have spent some significant time searching my life for rhythms. I see rhythms as those patterns that repeat themselves in our lives. After all, we are creatures of habit. Not just in what we do but also how and why we do. Our rhythms are impacted by our personalities, our gifts, our environments and our beliefs. As I looked closely at my own life one particular pattern stood out: God often gives me in one season a strategy that is meant for the next season. I have seen this play out many times in different areas of my life.
Because of the rhythms of our lives we must understand the difference between chronos and kairos. Chronos (where we get chronological time) is time as perceived by man. It’s how WE see things. Chronological time is based upon an assumed order of things. This is why we expect Fall to come after Summer and Monday to come after Sunday. Chronological time convinces us that everything is predictable. As a person of faith seeing our lives only through this lens can rob us of big picture focus. Assuming that things should be a certain way by a certain time convinces us that we are failing if time passes and goals are not met. I too have fallen in this trap. Thinking you should have accomplished things by certain time or feeling like you should be in a certain place distracts you from the big picture of what God may be doing in your life.
On the other side of things is kairos. This is the timing of God. In Galatians 6:9 Paul speaks of our harvest coming at the proper time. This phrase literally means kairos. In essence Paul says that we will see the fruit of our labors at the time of God’s choosing if we would stay the course. This means that God, in His infinite wisdom, has allowed us to control the input while He controls the output. As we labor and remain faithful to whatever calling God has given us we face the temptation to get frustrated while waiting. While we live and await our kairos moment we are trusting God’s view of the big picture. We are trusting that the God who created the universe is capable of knowing what is best for our lives. When we live in kairos our lives take on different meaning. We realize that God can delay or accelerate our schedules as He sees fit but whatever He does is for the best. While this timing can often seem random, if we pay close attention we will begin to see God’s pattern in our lives. Notice how Moses had a rhythm of meeting God on the mountain. Jesus several times pulled away in seclusion. John spoke several times of being lost in deep visions. All of these are unique rhythms with God.
As I prepare for the next season of my life I am noticing the rhythm. God is leading me along an uncommon path but I see similarities between where I have been and where God is taking me. His leadership in my life consistently reveals itself through the rhythms of prayer, fasting, rest and mentoring relationships. When you look at you life can you see God’s rhythm? What recurring patterns can you see? What happened the last time you were as focused and committed to your relationship with God as you are now? As you answer these questions a new clarity should begin to emerge that will encourage you to push ahead. As Paul says, “You will win if you don’t quit.”