January 12, 2009


I simply love the Greeks for recognizing time is more than the tick of the clock. I am eternally appreciative for their finding a "just right" word for that "just right" kind of time. They called it kairos. Pregnant time. Time full of potential just waiting for the right moment to show up.

Truth be told, this is the kind of time in which we live and breathe and move. Sure there are the constraints of the 9 to 5 and the overly full calendar which seem to dictate our lives. The deadening meter of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, and centuries, relentlessly devours our lives. But it is never the tick of the clock which gives us meaning. The clock only measures and a measurement does not a moment make.

moment - noun - 1 a brief period of time. 2 an exact point in time. 3 formal importance

I've had a few of these lately. Brief periods of time, at exact points, filled with importance. They give meaning, texture, and life to the lifeless ticking of the clock. Moments when it was abundantly evident that somehow I had managed to hear and to heed that still small voice.

These moments were born from simple things; an unplanned stop while running mundane errands which leads to a conversation I have been looking to have for a long time; hauling a postcard around with me for weeks on end wondering why I keep forgetting to mail it only to discover that it arrives in kairos; preaching yet another sermon on yet another Sunday which reaches people at their exact point of need; sitting at my kitchen table with my family and knowing with glowing certainty that this is exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment.

Here's to kairos! Throw away your watches and day timers! Be ever vigilant for the times that give meaning to the seconds and minutes and hours and days. Don't miss the time of your life!

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time [kairov], because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:15-16)


Gwendolyn said...

We all love those times when KAIROS overwhelms KRONOS!

Thanks for yet another helpful message.

Paul Thompson said...

John, I agree with you brother (by the way, your postcard and note came at just the right pregnant time.)

John said...

Gwendolyn! Always a pleasure to see your notes when you drop in. Thank you for the kind words.

Paul, my friend, I thank God for you. Can't wait to see where the path leads.

sojourner said...

I like this word kairos! It goes well with my life and suits me fine. I will ponder these words and watch (without a watch) for such moments :0)

RedLetterBelievers said...

hey...saw your post linking from my Kairos/chronos post over at www.redletterbelievers.com.

This article is really good. i LOVE when you say that the kairos time is RIGHT now.

It puts the present in a whole different tense.