As we read from Galatians 5 – Ephesians 5, Ralph Martin strikingly says, “No part of the New Testament has a more contemporary relevance than the letter to the Ephesians.” (p. 1) Of time in Ephesians, Sze-kar Wan notes it “is not khronos, which is linear time, but kairos, loaded time, the divinely appointed time when the cosmic plan of God is put into effect.” (p. 425) In how I exist in this world I need regular reminders to live in and experience the current moment, rather than perpetually waiting for a better future moment. While it is impossible to make any kind of definitive comment about God’s cosmic plan if indeed God has such a plan, I find it comforting to live with an understanding that God’s time and perspective is different than humanity’s.
How does your experience of time change when you shift from khronos to kairos time?
T+P+A Big Read 2019
This week we read Part 3, “Managing Your Fears,” Chapter 19, “PANIC!: The Obstacle-Amplifier” of the T+P+A Big Read 2019, The Lifelong Activist. This goes right in line with hypersensitivity, as I well know. Rettig notes how panic at life problems that we might more easily solve if they were someone else’s can derail us into procrastination, and leaves us with the following wisdom:
Minimize or eliminate your panic, and you should be able to manage your emotions and continue with your work. Or, as my teacher Jerry Weinberg, says, “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your reaction to the problem.” This would seem to put a lot of pressure on you, but in reality it takes a lot of the pressure off. What it means is that, thanks to your panic, you are probably perceiving your problem as being much worse than it actually is.p. 194
The key phrase here, I think is “manage your emotions.” While we can’t control everything, we can learn to adequately manage most things, including our emotions, so that they can be helpful indicators of what is going on, without our being ruled by them and letting them carry us away into unhelpful places. We don’t choose what happens to us, but I am perpetually thankful that we have a choice in how we interact and respond to our world and everything it brings.
For the rest of August, we return to the Ignatian prayer practice of the Examen. This infographic is my favorite quick rundown of how to pray it: https://bustedhalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/examen-large.jpg
How do you meet God in your experience of the Examen?
C’mon over to People of the Books, our online book club in which we discuss these books and whatever else is on your mind or heart!
Check out the Find Your FBCO Map to find your local faith-based community organizing affiliate and connect with the people who are working together to live out their dreams of a more just world! What’s going on in your living of the Gospel? Let us know in the comments, in our e-mail discussion group, or on social media.
- Busted Halo. The Daily Examen in 6 Simple Steps. Infographic; JPG, June 2012. https://bustedhalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/examen-large.jpg.
- Luther Seminary. “Enter the Bible,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/.
- Rettig, Hillary. “PANIC!: The Obstacle-Amplifier” in The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006. http://lifelongactivist.com/part-iii-managing-your-fears/19-panic-the-obstacleamplifier/
- Sanders, E. P. Paul: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
- Saunders, Stanley P. Philippians and Galatians. Interpretation Bible Studies. Knoxville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.
- Wan, Sze-kar, “Ephesians” in Theological Bible Commentary. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.