Monday, February 07, 2011

Sharpening Your Sword or Practicing Your Tune

For the last month, our church staff has replaced the normal weekly staff meeting with something closer to a Bible study.  I stop short of calling it a Bible study because it is slightly different than that.  The book that we are using is titled "Kairos," and it uses the "Lifeshapes" tools for understanding life.  It is important to understand that these "Lifeshapes" are not sacred, but they are excellent tools for applying the sacred to our lives.

The first shape is a circle.  Imagine your life as a timeline.  This is chronology, based on the word Chronos.  Compare that to the word for time that Jesus used when he said, "The time has come, the kingdom of God has come near.  Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 15)  Jesus uses the word Kairos, translated time, but more like a defining moment rather than the chronological passing of a clock.  As we move along the "chronos" of our lives, we encounter "kairos" moments.  At these moments we step off the line at the tangent point and enter the circle.  We observe, reflect and discuss so that we may plan, act, and be held accountable for our actions, moving forward in our "chronos" having grown from processing our "kairos."

I've just come through a personal struggle that has lasted for about three months.  I won't explain details, but several weeks ago, the situation was getting close to coming to a head.  It is one of those situations that even though you want more than anything for the situation to change, chances are you are going to have to make the best of a situation or make a dramatic change in your life.  I saw this as a "kairos" moment that I brought to our group for discussion.

I faced an opportunity to meet personally with several people to discuss our current situation.  I felt reluctance to engage in this conversation because of the potential consequences.  I knew that I needed to either confront the situation or let it go-- letting go would be the easy way out, but I doubted that I could just let go.  I also worried that I had become so involved that communicating in a non-emotional/calm manner would be difficult.

The group pointed me to the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho.  God promised the city to Joshua and instructed his people to march around the city for seven days.  On the seventh day, the priests sounded the horns, and the walls came down.  I was in a confrontational posture.  I was absorbed in self.  The group pointed out through this story that perhaps this situation required that I practice my tune rather than sharpening my sword.  Instead of approaching this meeting as an act of war, perhaps it would be best approached as an act of worship.

I don't think this situation is resolved, but taking the time to pause the "chronos" of my life to process a "kairos" moment gave me a new perspective on the entire situation and a metaphor that will serve me well in similar situations.  Sometimes we shouldn't spend so much time sharpening our swords, instead we should be practicing our tune, a joyful noise that brings glory to God.

No comments:

Post a Comment