24 hours. 1440 minutes. 86,400 seconds. These numbers all describe a day, but are they the best description we have available? Is the number 86,400 by itself motivational in any way? In a congested-busy-frantic-instant-everything world, I’d like to offer you a different approach to looking at your days. Time is our most precious resource. Do you have a minute to read, or do you already feel too busy to continue?
Ephesians 5:15-16 (KJV)
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
The Bible uses different words to describe “time, ” and two of these words are chronos and kairos.
Chronos vs Kairos
Chronos can be described as a data collection of current schedules. It’s quantitative. Kairos, on the other hand, takes a look at the particular moment or season you’re in. It’s qualitative. When you look at your phone or watch for the time, you’re wondering about chronos. When you look at the face of your child, you’re embracing your current kairos. I once heard kairos defined as “the appointed time in the purpose of God.” I love the idea that every moment has a purpose in God’s calendar. Chronos describes our schedules in life, whereas kairos brings life into our schedules.
I chose to use the King James Version of Ephesians 5:15-16 when writing this article because I love the phrase “Redeeming the time.” If I’m being honest, it’s difficult at times to try and “redeem” anything in my schedule on a weekly basis. Can anyone else relate? With three busy boys at home (all under the age of 8), my wife and I try to juggle church, school, work, sports practices, laundry, house cleaning, homework, birthday parties, doctor’s appointments, groceries runs, meetings, and family activities (to name a few…). At the end of the day, I would love to relax and watch the sunset with my family in matching outfits in silence and in awe of God’s beauty, reflecting on Scripture, and posting a picture to social media (#blessed #nofilter). But I feel that my nights are better described as a stew of loud noises mixed with tattling, complaining, messes everywhere, and a Yankee candle of weird little boy bodily odors. And while my wife and I go to bed each night exhausted, I know from my experience in working with teenagers that our schedules are going to just get busier as our kids get older. What should we do?
Kairos: A Different Approach
Our world, especially in American culture, is chronos in nature. We want to keep moving, know what’s next, and get everything now. While living in a digital world has provided endless opportunities, it has also added seemingly endless obligations. When you’re connected to everyone, you can often feel like you’re truly connected to no one. What if we had a kairos mindset in a chronos world? What if we viewed our current season as an appointment from God? Raising children becomes much more than routines. Work becomes more than deadlines. Life becomes more than a list of things to do. While kairos does not negate the responsibility of chronos, it does bring meaning to our everyday tasks. Raising children becomes a calling to love, invest, and influence the young minds of God’s own beloved. Work becomes our space to recreate the world as it should be, inspiring others with whom we share an office, a team, and a community. Life becomes filled with purpose to love God and to love His people. Chronos is connected with doing, where kairos is more connected with being. I have come to realize that my memories are much more filled with kairos moments than chronos moments.
Working in a church, it’s my prayer to love the people in front of me more than worrying about the tasks around me. Having experienced the loss of several family members this past year, it’s my prayer to live in the moment with my loved ones. I must remember the season I’m in over the troubles I face. It is my prayer that God will redeem the time that’s before me so I can experience Him who’s with me, trusting that God is for me and knowing that God is in me. Will you join me this week in prayer? Will you try to slow down and live in kairos more than chronos? Trust in God’s timing. Identify what season you’re in. Live in the moment. Remember that our time is limited, but our God is not. Give your time to Him. I hope you’re time spent reading this article was worth it. 🙂
High School Pastor
North Ridge Community Church