An international study by the
University of Hertfordshire concluded
that the pace of life in our cities has
increased by 10 per cent in the last
decade. When I visit some of you at
your work place, I know a significant number of
people will work through lunch or miss breaks altogether.
Someone said to me - ‘we need to think
more about God’s time for ourselves and those we
live and work with’.

I was interested that the Bishop of Reading, the Rt
Rev Stephen Cottrell, was reported to have stopped
commuters in their tracks as he handed out egg
timers at his local mainline train station. The Bishop
was urging the country to discover what happens
when we simply stop and rest, in a passionate plea
for the nation to ditch endless ‘to do’ lists, constant
streams of e-mails, and an increasingly ‘24 / 7’ culture.
We are on the treadmill of life. The Bishop
challenged passers-by to take three minutes of
silence a day to transform their lives. He also
advised people to set aside a ‘happy hour’ when all
televisions and radios in the house are switched off
- a time to simply enjoy a book, or enjoy each other.
As Christians we can get caught out by working
every minute God sends us - working over time - I
think the Bishop helpfully encourages us to stop in
our tracks to consider what we are doing sometimes
to ourselves and our families. Have we time
for those who are closest to us? The Bishop has
even written a book - Do Nothing to Change Your
Life, urging people to take opportunities to just
pause, wait and ponder. He argues that taking such
‘time out’ can help kick start an adventure of selfdiscovery
and creativity that could transform the
way we see life. He argues that this fresh perspective
of relishing every moment with a greater attentiveness
will improve our relationship with God. He
said, “By learning to sit still, slow down, by discerning
when to shut up and when to speak out, you
learn to travel through life differently. Travelling to
work can even become an adventure.”

Having just returned from a trip to Africa - we joked
about ‘Africa time’ - ie meetings may slip a few
hours as people always take priority. I am not advocating
lateness but the Africans do understand having
time for each other and relationships. As you
may know, in the Greek language there are two
words for “time”—Chronos and Kairos. Chronos is
clock time, but Kairos time is different. It is significant
time, meaningful time, or opportune time.“In
Kairos time you ask, not ‘What time is it?’ but,
‘What is this time for?’” Kairos time serves a holy
purpose. It’s a divine moment. I am wondering if
we, as members of CIC, can create more Kairos
time at our places of work and in our homes such
that we have a better relationship with our families,
colleagues and God. Have a great summer -

Simon Farmer

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