And then I thought about time. Both kinds of time. I thought about what the Greeks call chronos. Like the clock on your wall or your wrist or your phone. It is relentless. It stops for nothing or nobody. I was in some of those photographs. The boys aren’t the only one who look younger in the photos. My legs don’t work as well as they once did and neither do my eyes. Time is relentless. It marches on one second at a time and there is nothing anybody can do about it.
I sometimes wonder where the time has gone. I wish I could hit the rewind button or at least the pause button. Things I want to do over. Things I desire to do again. But I can’t. Time just keeps ticking.
The Greeks have another word for time. It’s not the kind of time measured in seconds, but moments. The word is kairos. It has nothing to do with a clock. It can’t be measured quantitatively. It’s a qualitative thing.
Kierkegaard wrote: “Many of us pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that we hurry past it.” He was saying our lives consist of minutes and hours and days and weeks. Things like schedules and calendars tell us where and when and what and who. Persistent attention on seconds causes us to miss sacred moments.
God teaches about kairos in Ephesians 5:16: “Make the most of your time, because these days are evil.” The days, they are evil. They will wear you down and wear you out, if you let them. Anxiety about agendas and assignments will lead us to the question we all dread: “I wonder where the time has gone?”
Kierkegaard and Paul are pretty much saying the same thing and it goes something like this: Live in the moment. Live. Don’t exist. Live. Obligations occur. I get that. You have responsibilities. I get that too. But make the most of your time. Enjoy. Explore. Laugh. Listen. Love. Slow down a little bit. Things like joy and happiness aren’t going to be experienced running from place to place with a mind that is constantly preoccupied and distracted.
Vicki Corona, in her book, Tahitian Choreographies, wrote phrase we agree with but seldom apply: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!”
Intentionally seek those kairos moments in our chronos world.
The best is yet to come…