Our church had a series recently on rest. We all need rest…a rest from our days work…the demands this can put upon us…..a rest from the stresses of this everyday world all around us…sometimes we even need a rest from ourselves.
But, how do we find this rest?
I am not fluent in Greek, but I did learn two words that are very important to me:
Chronos–This is measured time….the hands on the clock moving….the “I have to have this completed by 2 p.m.” time. The bam, bam, bam of our everyday lives telling us to accomplish more, be more, the ‘get it done’ time.
Kairos, on the other hand, is the ‘in between time’….a time that is indeterminate….a time where something special occurs…even for just a moment. And, of course, kairos is totally dependent upon the person….what they see or hear or experience that is unique, special and important to themselves as an individual.
I have been ill this past week, and I realized this morning that I’ve spent most of my waking hours in kairos rather than chronos (except when I look at the clock and realize it’s time to take my medication). I’ve enjoyed being here in this ‘land of inbetween time’.
But, the illness improves–reality sets in–and I will have to return to chronos land.
So, my question is: How to live a kairos life in a chronos world? Is this possible? Am I being totally optimistic in even hoping that this can occur?
Several weeks ago, I printed a note to myself and placed this on my computer monitor at work. It simply says: Chronos vs. Kairos–a reminder to myself that in the demands of the day–a day spent in chronos–that there are the kairos moments–those ‘inbetween times’–where something will strike me as special and unique.
I typically start my day–every day–in kairos. I sit on the deck with my first cup of coffee. I listen to the birds awakening, I hear the geese honking, a barn owl saying his good nights to the world, purple petunias edged in white. Close my eyes–my granddaughter holding a rock as if it were a diamond, the warmth of God’s love and His embrace surrounding me, the Shepherd caring for His lambs, the sun that I know is peeking through the darkness. Yes, I could stay here forever.
Then the reality check–time to shower, time to dress and dry the hair, time to move along and out the door–and BAM–snap back to chronos.
I have come to the conclusion that it is possible to find kairos in our chronos world. We just have to allow ourselves to look for it. It is there, and perhaps we are missing it. Perhaps we need to open our senses–all of our senses–our eyes, our ears, our taste, our touch, our intake of the aromas of this world–and just rest in the kairos–if even for a moment.
You see, we need these times–these ‘inbetween times’–where something special and unique can come into our lives.
Because the kairos sustains us through the chronos.