Anybody remember The Bangles!? Sing with me now…
“It’s just another manic Monday; I wish it was Sunday; ‘Cause that’s my fun-day; My I don’t have to run-day; it’s just another manic Monday.”
I’ve said it before, but let me issue again this word of encouragement [warning] – if Monday’s for you are mostly bad just remember that 1/7th of your life will be spent on a Monday!
I’m not a Greek scholar – I’m really just a guy with a dictionary who likes to use big words J – But I am impressed with the precise manner in which the dominant language of the New Testament works. Most of the New Testament was written in Koine’ Greek. If you’ve been in church very long you’ve likely heard a preacher say something like, “in the original Greek…” or “…in the Greek language there are multiple words for ‘love’”. In the same way the Greeks had multiple words to describe the passage of time; Chronos & Kairos.
Chronos is time as it passes. Kairos is an opportune time, or a moment in time that changes all times after it.
As we consider ‘Chronos Time’ we think in terms of:
- Then | Now | Next
- Before | During | After
- Cause | Catalyst | Effect.
But with Kairos we consider the power of a moment. That one defining moment by which all other moments will some day be judged. We celebrate Kairos moments. In Latin we would say, “Carpe Diem”. In English, “Seize the Day”! If Chronos is the football game, Kairos is the winning touchdown. As a child we look forward with great anticipation to Kairos moments – Christmas, our next birthday, getting a drivers license, that first kiss, graduation day. Growing older we look back on our Kairos moments with that melancholy mixture of fondness and regret as we consider what we accomplished, what we missed and all the work left undone.
We live in Chronos moments. We live for Kairos moments. This is why mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia are so insidious. Because of aging or faulty wiring in our mind we lose connection with the Kairos moments we think define our lives.
In reality our lives are so much more than a mass of momentary memories or a list of goals to be accomplished. Before David could face the giant he had to become proficient with a sling and a stone while tending sheep. Before David the King, was David the Shepherd. There was a Kairos moment of life change in Paul’s story. That moment on the road to Damascus where the murderous Saul was forever transformed into the Apostle Paul – Galatians 1:23 – 24 testifies, “And they were hearing only, ‘He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith he once tried to destroy. And they glorified God in me.’” That was Paul’s moment of life change – but God used every prior event in the life of Paul both to lead him down that road and to equip him for the great work that lay ahead.
So what is God doing in you? Maybe you’re approaching a Kairos moment, maybe one just passed. How will He judge you? Will He judge based on your Chronos or Kairos? Would you rather be measured by mundane manic Mondays or by mountain top memories of momentary victories? What if we spend so much time focused on finding Kairos that we miss the life God has for us in Chronos?
Here’s what I mean…I heard a football player once tell his coach, “I don’t care if we win or lose, I just want to get mine.” What he meant was that the team win wasn’t important to him as long as his stats looked good. Guess what…that player never ‘got his’ – because the coach never let him play. This is how some of us approach our walk with Christ. It’s as though we think that if there is no big event, no seemingly significant task, or nothing tangible in it for me, then the daily disciplines of our faith just aren’t that important. It’s like we say to God, “I don’t care if we win or lose. Prayer, Bible Study, worship, fellowship, showing up at church – these things aren’t that important, just so long as I get mine – my ticket to heaven, my peace that passes understanding, my bills paid, my involvement in the next big event…my…my…my…” Matthew says we’ll be judged for every idle word that comes out of our mouth – that tells me God’s taking a close look at our Chronos. The Bible also says that today is the day of salvation – that tells me God is planning another Kairos even as we speak.
I wonder if you’ll be ready. I wonder if, like the football player, you’ll be benched for a bad attitude or if like David you’ll amaze and bless a nation because you prepared yourself in the mundane. Chronos is passing – kairos is coming and you will be measured by both.
Love y’all, God Bless,