Time, part 2

Ephesians 5:16 – Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Every year, it is very beneficial to reflect on your life.  The direction you see your life going.  Our choices and direction is impacted by the amount of time that we devote to that which is important to us:  our marriage/family, our friends, our jobs, our ministries.  Unfortunately, time is limited and we need to make sacrifices and compromises in order to satisfy all of the needs that we have.

When we study the Bible, there are two Greek words that are used to describe time.  The first word is chronos and the second is kairos.  These are very different words and many translations don’t always do these words justice.

The first word, “chronos,” is a word that we are all familiar with.  It is the word that we get words such as “chronology,” “chronological,” and “chronicle.”  This word is the one that we think about when we look at a passage of time.  For example:

John 5:6 – When Jesus saw him lying there, and he knew it had been a long time in that condition, “Do you wish to get well?”

This is the word that is used to talk about the actual time on the clock.  When the minutes slip away from you and you still have a lot to get done, you are talking about chronos time.  Chronos is also the word that we think of when we discuss our habits, bad and good.  As time passes, we build our habits, and, like the man in John 5:6, we have changed our way of thinking because of the state we have lived in for a long period of time.

Kairos is very different.  It is the ancient Greek word that speaks to the right moment.  This is where the special moments happen.  While chronos is about the quantity of time, kairos is about the quality of it.

You can spend all the time you want with your family, but if you spend it focused on anything but them, then that quantity won’t really matter.  Or you can work hundreds of hours but if you still aren’t producing quality work you can get fired.

Let’s look at a Biblical example of kairos.  This comes from John 5:4 and is one of those verses that have caused a lot of headaches among amateur philosophers everywhere.  “for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.”

I wish I had one of these pools near my house!!!  But one thing is clear, the healing that happened from the Pool of Bethesda does not happen all the time, but only at certain times or seasons.  Imagine what our lives would look like if we chose to wait for the right kairos.  Do you think God could use US to bring healing to a world that is hurting if we know the definition and application of kairos?

What happens if your life becomes like the Pool of Bethesda this year?  What happens if we all of a sudden see God “stirring the water” in our lives?  Will you be ready to drop everything to get in the right kairos with God?

Ask for God to lead you.  And after praying, be ready for God to stir up the waters of your life.  Be ready to adjust your chronos to accept God’s kairos.

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