Kairos Time

Kairos Time

© GLOW IMAGES

We are in the midst of summer and I think half way though the year may be a good time to republish a great blog post that was posted on New Year’s Day! This is a guest post written by Tracy Clifton and originally published January 1, 2013.

For most of us, New Year’s Day isn’t just about parties or buying a new calendar – it’s also when we give a lot of thought towards the concept of time, whether to exclaim that it has flown by as another year has passed, or to make resolutions about how we’d like to spend our time in the upcoming year. Time is on everyone’s minds as we try to find more and more of it each year, storing up minutes and hours and trying to squeeze the most amount of time into each day, so that we feel like we’ve lived a life fulfilled.

Did you know, however, that the Greeks had two different definitions for time? One was Chronos – the sequential passing of time, from seconds to minutes to hours and so forth – but the second definition recognized a more spiritual passing of time: Kairos. Greek philosophers defined Kairos as “the appointed time in the purpose of God,” and Kairos was referenced in the New Testament when Jesus stated, “The time [Kairos] is fulfilled, and the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” When we measure our life in terms of Kairos time, we can see that it’s full of blessings that are constantly unfolding, regardless of the so-called limitations of chronological time.

Many of us have experienced this at some point in our lives: in the midst of busy daily activity we are suddenly offered a momentary glimpse of how blessed and beautiful and ordered our lives truly are, and time slows as we become fully aware of God’s presence in each and every aspect of our lives. Gratitude fills our hearts, and we take deeper breaths and surer steps before moving along with our day. We’ve experienced Kairos time – God’s time.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science and the author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, also seemed to truly grasp the concept of Kairos time, noting that, “Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded.” She showed us a clearer and more spiritual way for us to measure how fulfilled our lives really are, free of boundaries and the fear that time will pass us by. God is not limited by time, and neither are we as God’s children.

So this year, as I make my New Year’s Resolutions, I will be resolving to take better care of my spiritual health – by being more aware that time, like all things, belongs to God, and that I’m just as unable to “run out” of time as I am to run out of God’s infinite blessings. I hope you’ll join me in resolving to have a great deal many more Kairos moments in 2013.

Health Goals: Developing an Awareness of Alternatives

Health Goals: Developing an Awareness of Alternatives

© GLOW IMAGES

by Don Ingwerson

While establishing goals for the 2013 year, an article by Deepak Chopra titled, “The big idea(s) for 2013: A Critical Mass of Consciousness” caught my attention. As I read further, I realized that a goal has a better chance of being successful if it is in concert with the efforts of others. Chopra successfully makes this point when he states, “Our world right now is in a state of worrisome turbulence and chaos. If we are to achieve any measure of success in creating a more peaceful, just, sustainable, and healthy planet, it will require more than the participation of governments and businesses. We’ll need a critical mass of consciousness on the part of the people.”

Let’s look at one aspect of this larger goal: a healthy planet.

The goal of helping create a critical mass of consciousness (awareness) about health and the importance of this goal to each individual is very timely when considering how health care options are determined. Timely, because by January 2014 almost every individual in the United States will be mandated to buy health insurance or pay a fine.

This collective health awareness will need a critical mass of people who have found alternative and traditional therapies that work for them, and regulators who make them accessible under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the new health care law is confined to traditional western medical practices, and modeled after existing delivery systems, Dr. Andrew Weil’s comment in the documentary Escape Fire, “We don’t have a health care system, we have a disease care system,” may describe our future.

Another issue is how patients will be treated, both mentally and physically. Do they need to take more responsibility for their health instead of routinely turning to the medical community to manage their lives through drugs? How do we achieve a critical mass of consciousness in this area?

Dr. Lissa Rankin urges, “The solution is not more tests, more drugs, or more procedures. The solution requires physicians to spend more time with patients engaging in the art of healing and educating patients not just about diet, exercise, getting enough sleep, and taking vitamins, but also the other factors. To be wholly healthy, you need to do more than care for your physical body. It’s also essential to be healthy in your relationships, your work life, your creative life, your spiritual life, your financial life, your environment, and your mental health.”

As regulators tackle the task of identifying therapies that should be available to the public under the ACA, there needs to be the recognition that the whole person – physical and spiritual aspects – must be addressed. Many studies show that health care must address the spiritual needs of the individual as well as the physical.

So my goal this year is to start with big intentions and resolutions. I know from past experiences that it may be easy to become discouraged and shift to smaller and personal goals, but I’m going to work to stick to the big issue, because an awareness (consciousness) on the part of the public is developing about the importance of a different type of health care – one that includes the use of alternative medicines (especially prayer and meditation) and for the accountability of the individual.

My health care goal is not separate from the critical mass of awareness on the part of all, and yet I must stand alone in my belief as to what manifests healthy situations for me. I recall a time that I engaged in setting a big goal by relying on prayer to meet my spiritual and physical needs. I was in the military service at the time and I was assigned full time to prayerfully help army recruits with their physical and spiritual needs. I saw how important bible-based study and prayer were for a healthy and stable emotional lifestyle on the part of inductees. It continues to be my goal for 2013 to promote an awareness (consciousness) that encourages the effective use of prayer and meditation as alternative medicines in resolving health issues. As the concept of health care broadens to address the needs of a population, a critical mass of awareness will result.

Article first published in Blogcritics.

Kairos Time

Kairos Time

© GLOW IMAGES

A guest post written by Tracy Clifton

For most of us, New Year’s Day isn’t just about parties or buying a new calendar – it’s also when we give a lot of thought towards the concept of time, whether to exclaim that it has flown by as another year has passed, or to make resolutions about how we’d like to spend our time in the upcoming year. Time is on everyone’s minds as we try to find more and more of it each year, storing up minutes and hours and trying to squeeze the most amount of time into each day, so that we feel like we’ve lived a life fulfilled.

Did you know, however, that the Greeks had two different definitions for time? One was Chronos – the sequential passing of time, from seconds to minutes to hours and so forth – but the second definition recognized a more spiritual passing of time: Kairos. Greek philosophers defined Kairos as “the appointed time in the purpose of God,” and Kairos was referenced in the New Testament when Jesus stated, “The time [Kairos] is fulfilled, and the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” When we measure our life in terms of Kairos time, we can see that it’s full of blessings that are constantly unfolding, regardless of the so-called limitations of chronological time.

Many of us have experienced this at some point in our lives: in the midst of busy daily activity we are suddenly offered a momentary glimpse of how blessed and beautiful and ordered our lives truly are, and time slows as we become fully aware of God’s presence in each and every aspect of our lives. Gratitude fills our hearts, and we take deeper breaths and surer steps before moving along with our day. We’ve experienced Kairos time – God’s time.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science and the author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, also seemed to truly grasp the concept of Kairos time, noting that, “Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded.” She showed us a clearer and more spiritual way for us to measure how fulfilled our lives really are, free of boundaries and the fear that time will pass us by. God is not limited by time, and neither are we as God’s children.

So this year, as I make my New Year’s Resolutions, I will be resolving to take better care of my spiritual health – by being more aware that time, like all things, belongs to God, and that I’m just as unable to “run out” of time as I am to run out of God’s infinite blessings. I hope you’ll join me in resolving to have a great deal many more Kairos moments in 2013.

Freedom From Obesity

Freedom From Obesity

photo by jeffreyw’s photostream

by Don Ingwerson

Article first published on Blogcritics

Vernon, fat? I didn’t think so. He was just too heavy and physically slow to be on the football team.

But then things changed. That quiet, likeable, overweight kid reported for fall football practice looking physically fit. He was strong, solid, and had great stamina. His changed appearance and attitude were a big surprise to the football team, but not to him. He had decided to change his life. That summer he had found a job on a hay baler, moving from field to field running behind the baler. When the baling was done, he would load the hay bales by throwing them on a hay wagon. What impressed me was that Vernon didn’t change his diet, visit his physician, or join an exercise group. His desire to change his life guided his physical and mental reform efforts.

People like Vernon are not the only ones who can benefit from physical and mental reform. I read an article recently by Alexandra Sifferlin (“Fat Forecast: 42% of Americans Could be Obese by 2030”) in which she reported on a May obesity study conducted by Dr. Justin Trogdon of RTI International. Trodgon indicated that, “should these forecasts prove accurate, the adverse health and cost consequences of obesity are likely to continue to escalate without a significant intervention.” The health implications for people in this nation are huge as health care, life expectancy, and medical costs will significantly increase. One good piece of news: This obesity prediction is not as high as previous studies projected.

Just as Vernon decided to be accountable for his weight and health through eating responsibly and exercising, so the authors of this study are recommending strategies that are known to help people stay fit by including the building of recreational facilities, improving urban design, increasing anti-obesity social marketing programs, adding workplace health promotion programs, and developing new drugs and technologies.

But how do we create the desire and the will to be persistent in this daunting fight?

If obesity is to be reduced, an inner drive needs to be supported along with outside programs and facilities. In “Affecting Obesity with Spiritual Truths,” Shannon McKeown states, “If you are overweight or obese, your weight loss journey starts from the inside – out.” In another study, Duke University professor Dr. Harold Koenig suggests, “A growing body of scientific research suggests connections between religion, spirituality, and both mental and physical health.” This article and study support the idea that health starts mentally.

Just how important is it not to be obese? A survey undertaken at Yale University found that nearly 50 percent of participants would give up an entire year of life rather than be fat; 15 to 30 percent would abandon marriage, never have children, or become alcoholics rather than become obese; and around five percent would prefer blindness or an amputation to being overweight.

It’s pretty clear from research and personal testimony that the effects of obesity are multiplying rather than diminishing. The utilization of the mind-body-spiritual connection could be vital to addressing this problem. Whatever choices are made in overcoming obesity, they will need to be approached with the attitude described by Dale Fletcher, author of “America’s Plan for Better Health and Wellness. Where’s the Spiritual Care and Faith Component?” Fletcher asks, “What’s it going to take for the leadership of our country to be convinced that the strategy for the health care of our citizens must include man’s Creator, God, a personal relationship with him, and address the principles found in the book that He gave us to live by and that this country was founded upon?”

Was this the unseen motivation that Vernon found in overcoming of obesity?