Image by Daniel Kirsch
I live on a country road that gets so skinny at some points that only one car can pass. When two cars meet, one of them must back up or pull to the side of the road to make way for the other. While the process is inconvenient, it calls for cooperation and saying hi to neighbors. It’s refreshing.
The other day I was on my way to an important meeting I did not want to be late for. At one of the thin junctures I encountered my neighbor Dean approaching in his truck. The moment came when we had to decide which vehicle would yield. While normally I wouldn’t have minded backing up, that day I wished I didn’t have to. Dean seemed to read my mind and he congenially backed his truck up quite a way to let me pass. When I passed him I rolled down my window to say thanks. “No problem,” he smiled. “We’ll all get where we need to get when we need to get there.”
Now there’s an affirmation worthy of posting on a wall.
In A Hurry To Get Nowhere?
Many of us spend a great deal of our life rushing to get places. In the process we do clumsy things, get embroiled in impatience and irritation, and sometimes cause accidents. In our haste to get somewhere, we miss being somewhere, and never seem to get anywhere.
The Greek bible, the first translation from the original Aramaic, contains two different words for “time.” One is chronos, which is similar to the way we think of time, dividing the progression of life into seconds, minutes, hours, days, and so on.
The other word, kairos, is harder to translate because in our culture we don’t have one word for it. The closest translation would be, “when the time is right,” or “in the fullness of the season,” or “in God’s timing.” Kairos recognizes that there is a right timing for everything, and when that timing comes, things happen naturally. Kairos does not depend on time. It depends on timing.
From Chronos to Kairos... From Time to Timing
Those of us who tend to live by chronos could use a good dose of kairos. We would relax more and everything would get done.
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My friend Harriet was on her way to see her psychotherapist when she got stuck behind a slow driver in a no passing zone. At that rate Harriet would be late for her appointment, and she became more and more frustrated. She tried and tried to find a way to pass the slowpoke, but couldn’t. Finally an opening came and she sped past her nemesis. When she turned to look at the slow driver, she saw that it was her therapist. No matter how slowly the slow driver drove, Harriet would have been right on time.
Are We Addicted to Fastness?
Gandhi said, “There must be more to life than increasing its speed.” We are addicted to fastness. Yet is the world a better place because we move faster every day? At a certain point speed does not enhance the quality of life, but distracts us from it.
People who live in “primitive” cultures know how to just sit. They hang with their families, look at the stars, laugh over their version of a beer, and capture the magic of moments that elude more advanced nations. Ultimately whoever is closer to peace is more advanced.
“To everything there is a season,” Ecclesiastes tells us. Powerful as we believe we are, we cannot make things happen outside their appointed time. If you pick a fruit before it is ripe, it is hard and tasteless. If you wait until after it is ripe, it is spoiled. Pick it at the ripe moment, and it is tasty and nutritious. So it is with events in our life.
Marriage, stepping into a job, changing residence, spiritual maturity, and all important moves have a timing. Stay in the flow and the right things happen precisely when they are supposed to. Let everything come when it wants to come, and go when it wants to go, and you will be a master of the Tao.
Patience: Rediscovering the Wonder of the Now
Patience does not mean regretfully putting off something you want to happen now. It means discovering the beauty, wonder, and richness of what is happening now so you don’t need to wait for something better to happen. A spiritually mature person is neither patient nor impatient. When you live in the here and now, there is no waiting.
When you don’t need to get there, you can be here. Here contains everything you are trying to get there for. It’s a paradox. The more you need, the less you have. The more you have, the less you need. The more time you need, the less you have. Decide you have enough time, and you will not need any.
We’ll all get where we need to get when we need to get there. This nugget of country wisdom goes a long way. Even with the short delay on my country road, I got to my appointment at exactly the right moment. Real appointments are made in heaven, and heaven always keeps them.
*subtitles added by InnerSelf
© Copyright by Alan Cohen. All Rights Reserved.
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Spirit Means Business: The Way to Prosper Wildly without Selling Your Soul
by Alan Cohen.
Can you create material success and keep your spirit alive? Is it possible to combine prosperity with purpose and passion? Can you sell your product without losing your soul? Drawing on wisdom sources from the Tao Te Ching to A Course in Miracles, as well as stories from Alan's clients and his own life, this book will help you navigate a spiritually sound path to the success you desire.
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About The Author
Alan Cohen is the author of many inspirational books including A Course in Miracles Made Easy and of the newly-released Spirit Means Business. Join Alan for his life-changing Holistic Life Coach Training beginning September 1, 2020. For information on this program and Alan’s books, videos, audios, online courses, retreats, and other inspirational events and materials, visit www.alancohen.com