Saturday, January 1, 2011

What's Your Time?

It's not uncommon among runners to ask about their finish time in a race.  First time runners, sophomore runners, veteran runners - they all ask that question unabashedly.  However, there are some runners who don't ask and those who don't answer truthfully. The business of asking and answering this question is really a matter of your comfort level.  I think that it's better not to ask especially to somebody you don't know too well; but when asked and you don't want to answer directly, you can say something like, "My time was better than last year's." My favorite one is to simply say, "I really had a great time!"

Time is very important to runners.  First, they need to make time during their busy day for running.  Then when running, they are keeping time all the time.  After running, they record their time.  Long after the run, they remember the time.  But time is also important to non-runners.  They go about life dictated by time, especially in urban parts of the world.  This time is human time or "chronos".  It is the other meaning of time in Greek which means chronological time.  It's time that measures a duration of an event.  There is however, another meaning of time.  In Greek, it is called "kairos".  It is that undetermined period of time when something special happens. It differs from "chronos" which is quantitativee time.  "Kairos" refers to the qualitative form of time.  In the Bible, it is God's time.

God's time is not man's time.  God does not follow man's time.  Man unfortunately does not think in terms of God's time.  However, God's time is always the right time.  It is hard to understand why sometimes God's time seems to interrupt our human time. One time, I was delinquent with my house payments and the banks were threatening to foreclose my house.  In the midst of this situation, my wife got very sick again and had to be hospitalized.  I couldn't understand God's timing to let all these happen at the same time.  But God always knows what is best for us.  The best thing to do, instead of questioning, is just let go and let God.

That's why sometimes, when asked the question,"What's your time," I answer, "I had the best time of my life running that race."  For I had an experience like no other.  It doesn't even compare to the first place finisher's experience.  Some races, I simply run to enjoy it.  Even if I run it hard, I make sure I had an awesome time.  So sometimes, ease up on that stopwatch; instead, "stop and smell the roses" along the course.  Make it a real personal best experience you will remember not just in terms of your finish time.  And perhaps, instead of asking every runner you meet, "what's your time,"  give them a word of praise and congratulations!  For in God's time, each runner is a true winner!

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