Current Events Monday: When is Your Bedtime?

James Hassell   -  

Many of us live by the clock. And we have for a long time (pun intended). In fact, we attribute the keeping of time to the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians. By the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, sundials would have been a mainstay, but people had already been working on mechanical, water-powered watches one thousand years before his arrival. The clocks with which we are more familiar today even date back about 500 years to an inventor named Peter Henlein. Even Steve Jobs and Bill Gates could not improve on this ancient but still current technology

Why are we so concerned with time? Some reasons are obvious. For instance, commerce depends upon following strict and oftentimes exact time schedules. Deadlines also give us a sense of measurement and accomplishment. We further understand that, with all our capabilities and technology, there is really no escape from time. Human beings are limited to specific points in history. Thus, we are encouraged to use the time we have by doing the best we can. Time, indeed, waits for no one.

When used correctly, it seems that time can be a great ally. It may even help your heart. A group of researchers published findings in this month’s edition of the “European Heart Journal” which suggests that a bedtime between 10pm and 11pm, along with a good diet and exercise, may be optimal for heart efficiency. You can read the study by clicking on this link: Study: 10 p.m. bedtime ideal for heart health, but there’s more to it (

These scientists may have unknowingly stumbled upon a biblical concept in their research of bedtimes. The biblical authors speak much about time, and they generally use two words for time. One word, kronos, refers to the more literal tick-tock of the clock. When we ask someone what time it is, we are essentially asking what is the “kronos.” The other word in the Bible for time is “kairos.” Kairos refers to the era or epoch of generalized time. It also has to do with opportunities in front of us. For instance, we say of an athlete in his/her prime that, “Their time has come!” That’s kronos.

We could then say that we are living in the right kronos to pay attention to the kairos! We live in a season in which we must not only be concerned about our health but also about the opportunities in front of us to spread the gospel and pray fervently. I trust that this Thanksgiving season would be one in which you have a fresh perspective on the gift of time and how we ought to use it wisely.