Sunday, 20 December 2009

On the threshold of Christmas: buying time

buying time copy

Jewellers in Hull (Fuji Finepix Z35 pocket camera)

Christmas is the buying time of the year. But here in this window display in Hull time does not come cheap. Indeed the combined cost of the Omega watches on show is far more than most people in the city earn in a year. The majority are priced at well over £1000 with quite a few easily exceeding three times that figure. Interestingly it is Omega ‘champion’ Zhang Ziyi who adorns the display at the expense of George Clooney. Clearly the brand positions itself as exclusive, upmarket, cool and chic; all so very aspirational. This is not about telling the time but about acquiring status. Of course to the hordes of folk who pass by every day what this actually says is “this is what you are not”. Such buying time is a fantasy, an illusion, because what our festive buying time cannot guarantee is good time, wholesome time, meaningful time: time that matters and is well spent.  Ultimately the living of such time is beyond price and purchase. It has to do with the interior chronology of the spirit and the ability to dwell deeply within the present moment.

Buying time usually refers to putting off the inevitable and gaining a precious period of delay; it is a quantitative goal. God’s Kairos time refers to something entirely different, the qualitative nature of time as gift to be lived purposefully. Here the emphasis is existential, defined by our engaging with God’s loving and transformative presence. Such quality Kairos time cannot be bought, it is about motivation not money, yet it is also costly to those who choose to indwell it.  Its brand champion was born well away from celebrity and privilege and had zero status or buying power. Christmas displays to all that the timeless God who is Alpha and Omega inhabits time to gift fullness and fulfilment to every moment. The birth of the Christ-Child displays Kairos for all to see and experience. And such telling time is still worth telling.


  1. i've experienced both sides of the coin -- the side where money was no object and the side where each penny was carefully counted. What i learned was that money doesn't matter either way -- my inner condition will dictate to me how i will use whatever amount of money i have at the moment.

    When i was still a blind unbeliever, i used the money as if it were my own -- for what pleased me. Today as a believer, i see every cent as from GOD and must be managed with care, for my Source and Boss is watching how i will use His money.

    Your commentary would have been so alien to me before, but today i really understand that followers in CHRIST are truly separated -- holy and sanctified (set apart) -- with a different mind set...the mind of the SPIRIT of GOD. The mind set of the world was where i came from; yet today, it seems so foreign to me. These gifts for the rich no longer make my mouth water with covetousness -- i have joined those who believe that the greatest gift has already been given...and it's the incomparable Present...not just for CHRISTmas, but for everyday of our lives forever!

  2. "Such buying time is a fantasy, an illusion, because what our festive buying time cannot guarantee is good time, wholesome time, meaningful time: time that matters and is well spent"
    Thanks for this Dave, I talk to so many people who feel that they have somehow failed by not being able to afford the perfect gift, and yet fail to see the gift of time.
    Sadly they are often Christians!