The ancient Greeks had two forms of time, chronos and kairos. Chronos refers to chronological or sequential time, also known as ‘clock’ time; minutes, hours, days, etc. Kairos refers to divine or opportune time. While chronos time is quantitative, Kairos time is qualitative. Chronos time is essential to life but it can devour our days and eventually our lives. If you allow chronos to dominate your time, you miss the kairos moments. And without kairos moments you miss the memory of time.
An example of a day in chronos time:
8:15am Drop kids off at school.
8:30am Write for two hours.
1:00pm Hair Appointment
2:00pm Grocery shop
3:00pm Pick kids up from school.
3:15pm Guitar lessons
5:30pm Baseball practice
An example of my ‘dream’ day in kairos time:
7:30am Drink a cup of hot chocolate on the porch with my twelve-year-old son and listen to his dreams and goals for life.
8:00am Pray with my boys in the car while driving them to school.
9:00am Encourage someone at the local coffee shop who’s going through a struggle I have just recently faced.
1:30pm Listen to my beautician; really listen.
3:05pm Tell my boys how much they mean to me and share a favorite memory of them when they were little.
4:30pm Sit down and eat a snack with the boys and tell funny jokes.
5:15pm Go to practice a little early and play catch until practice begins.
7:30pm Eat dinner together as a family and share our favorite moment of the day.
8:45pm Read another chapter in my boys’ favorite book and laugh with them over the funny parts.
Now, do all these ‘kairos’ moments happen each day. Unfortunately, no. Why? Because I’m often so focused on chronos time I forget to create the kairos moments with the people I care about most.
My pastor shared a picture at church of the Greek god Cronus devouring one of his children.
A bit intense I know. Disgusting…disturbing…bothersome; yes all of these definitions. Yet, we allow chronos time to devour us daily and not just us but those we love as well.
As already described, chronos focuses on quantity, all that can be measured. Kairos focuses on quality, all that is of value or worth.
Chonos asks, what time is it? Kairos asks, what is it time for?
Chronos focuses on purpose. Kairos focuses on presence.
Chronos is measurable but Kairos is memorable.
Chronos is often ‘crisis’ centered while Kairos is ‘Christ’ centered.
Chronos asks, what’s next? Kairos asks, what’s now?
When you become consumed with chronos, you miss the kairos. You miss the meaning of relationships.
Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as the wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time (buying up each opportunity), because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.
Don’t get so busy that you miss the beauty and creativity God intended for you to enjoy! Begin to monitor time spent on non-kairos moments. Redeem your kairos! Kairos brings life while chronos begins to steal life if we are not careful.
When we live life chronosly we live life in a hurry. Being in a hurry is never advantageous. It only brings about lost moments. Don’t wander around in busyness. Busyness murders the heart. Busyness makes you forget about the things you really care about. When we begin to operate in kairos time we begin to attract peace and presence.
Chronos makes you unrestful.
Kairos allows you to take time to enjoy the moment.
I want to make lasting memories with my children! And I know you do, too.
Do you know what my favorite childhood moments are? When we took our yearly family vacation, seeing new places with the people I loved most, sleeping in a small tent-camper with no running water, walking to the bathhouse each morning with my sisters to take a much needed shower, picnic lunches, watching dad count out the money he had put aside for the last year so he could make our memorable trip happen, fighting with my siblings over trivial things that really didn’t matter! Walking, sharing, dreaming, loving, living!!! Do you know what I don’t remember? All the running, busyness, stressful moments.
Live kairosly! You’ll be glad you did!!
Taken from sermon Redeeming Time at Harvest House Church. Notes from message spoken by Darrell Roberts.