Friday, January 16, 2009
Ho-hum No More!
I just finished a book, "Choosing to Learn from Life" by Mike Breen that's been my companion for the last several weeks during my 30 minute wait in the allergy clinic. It was this blurb that caught my attention: "Every day, each of us experience opportunities that we can either choose to ignore - or choose to learn and grow from. These significant - or kairos - moments were intended by God to be powerful, life-altering events. Learn the principles that can lead to unimaginable spiritual growth."
So what is a kairos moment? It is an event, moment, or crisis when time can seem to "stand still." A period of "time" when chronos (dates and clock time) is of no importance. It could mark a significant shift in your life. Mike shares that with every kairos moment in your life, Jesus gives you an opportunity to move on in your discipleship.
It's difficult to sum up such a thought-provoking piece of work, but the key words give you some idea of what brings this process full circle:
Repentance: A complete change of mind and heart. A process of transformation that takes place within a person. The process of repentance is not just a response to sin -- it is a response to our desire to do life differently.
Observe: Stop, look, and listen to what actually is happening in your kairos moment. Observation gives us a perspective - God's perspective - one that we wouldn't have otherwise.
Reflect: Ask yourselves questions about what you see and hear -- understanding is the goal! If observation brushes away the dust that covers the surface of our kairos, then reflection is a drill that penetrates the rock to reveal where the gold can be found.
Discuss: Get other people's perspectives on your observations and reflections. This is so you can be sure you are on the right track. As we go further into our reflections, asking questions and pondering over the answers, we can begin to identify what God may be trying to say to us. Receiving God's guidance in a community context was a common practice of the New Testament Church.
Yesterday, as I was finishing the final pages, I stopped and penned the words, "You are amazing, God!" on one particular page. Why? For the entire week I've been debating and praying as to whether or not I should begin next week's study in an obscure passage found in the Old Testament - one I had never noticed or read before. And there, written on the final pages of this book, was the exact passage along with a new perspective. I believe, God's perspective.
Was it a kairos moment for me? Any time I am confident that God is speaking to me personally- confirming His direction to me and loving me in a way that only I would recognize at that moment is indeed a kairos moment... and one I treasure.
Here's one last favorite quote (there were many!). If you know me, you'll know why this was underlined heavily in my book: "Planning is part of God's character - he is a God of order, not chaos. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has plans for each of us - plans with a very specific purpose and intent." Love it!
I would recommend this book to anyone desiring to exchange a "ho-hum-life-is-passing-me-by" type of existence for one that is becoming progressively more aware of God's presence and promptings through His Word, repentance, observation, reflection, and community.