HAPPY NEW YEAR!   How will you spend your time in the New Year?  What will be done with the 24 hours of each day for the next 52 weeks … those precious 3,760 hours?

The Greeks used two words to explain the different dimensions of time: Chronos and Kairos.

Chronos refers to those chronologically-connected activities such as work school, volunteer events, meetings, medical appointments, doing the laundry, picking up the groceries, putting out the garbage, taking the children to their after-school activities.

is elusive.  It’s those treasured moments when we make time to simply “be”; when we get in touch with our true selves; when we see the ordinary about us and know, or at least wonder-about-the-possibility, that there is something/SomeOne greater than ourselves.   
Kairos is where challenge and opportunity meet and when creativity, compassion, love,spirituality interconnect.

Kairos refers to those moments we spend
… sitting by the bedside of a sick child quietly reading a book
… seeing a newborn baby
… watching a caterpillar burst into a beautiful butterfly
… noting the formation of clouds on the horizon
… being reassured by the gentle purring of a cat or nuzzling of a dog
… hearing a piece of music that sends shivers up our spine
… receiving and giving a hug
… having a smile returned by a stranger
… enjoying the quiet prayer / meditation time in the tub or shower
… being aware of the gift of our breath unassisted by mechanical means
… holding the hand of someone who is dying
… slowly eating a meal, truly tasting and appreciating the gift that it is
… creating something: a craft, painting, handmade card, anything
… having fun in the kitchen: making jam, a casserole, or cookies you’ll share with another
… gasping at the rainbow that arcs across the horizon
… walking through a cemetery and being aware of the frailty and fragility of your life
… laughing a deep, from the belly-kind-of-laugh
… reading a portion of Scripture you’ve read countless times before or never having read before and having it leap from the page with a meaning never before encountered or thought about
… walking in and around a garden; planting, watering, weeding –  gardening
… receiving a gift from another who, for no reason, chose to bless your day by giving you a present of their chronologica time or their kairos presence or material possession
… hearing the word “inoperable” and giving love, creating happy and loving moments,  being love to the one about whom the word “inoperable” was pronounced

… sitting in silence before the ocean or fireplace and hearing, in that silence, affirmation that you are a person the Creator chose to call into being, and that you are deeply loved.

Many are asking ’soul-questions’ these days, as concerns about our world (the wars, politics, personal/medical crises, climate change, gun control, treatment of refugees, abusive tweets by political leaders, on-line and in-person bullying, terrorism, the negativity, the anger, racism) overwhelm people, to the point that the ability to play, to delight in, to be amazed, to forgive, to be in awe, to be creative, to put love into action, seems to be lost.

Usually, we’re very good when it comes to the Chronos dimension of time.  Some even have their New Year’s calendars already partially filled-in! 
However, the Kairos dimension seems to be more elusive.  It doesn’t have to be.

As the New Year unfolds, let us 
… make time to smell the flowers’
… recognize healing and compassionate presence in another’s smile, touch, phone call, visit, letter, embrace, handshake, eye contact, tears
… encounter intentional silence and solitude as ‘gift’
… see beyond the immediate moment which might be one of stress, anxiety, fear
… be mindful of a global connectedness: humanitarian concerns, climate change concerns, justice concerns.

What if, this coming year, we were intentionally and more intimately connected with Kairos, with our spirituality?    Might that
… encourage us when we are discouraged?   
… bring healing to our world? 
… bring healing to ourselves?   
… move us into becoming more aware of the need of self-care and intentional moments of nurturing our spirituality and expressing ourselves creatively? 

If you are asking – or want to ‘consider’ asking yourself such soul questions, you might find this helpful: https://soulistry.com/groups-soul-questions.

T.S. Eliot wrote that “Last year’s words belong to last year’s language.  Next year’s words await another voice.  To make an end is to make a beginning.”   What  a great way to enter a new year!
Amen.   May it be so.   Amen.   

Btw, ‘Amen’ is not necessarily ‘religious’.   It simply means ‘May it be so.
Happy New Year! 
© June Maffin   

As New Year’s Eve welcomes in a new year, it also is Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas
so it seemed appropriate to take the photo of my Zentangled New Year’s Eve card in the middle of the Christmas Tree. 🙂