It would seem that we are all slaves of time. Since somebody identified that one day is 24 hours, that there is a day called Monday, or a week is 7 days, and there is a year labeled as 2018, we all scheduled our time based on it – sleep, work, eat, play, travel, meeting, etc. The advent of bulletin boards, calendar planners, and the ubiquitous smartphone added to our enslavement. We always look up and check our next appointment or task to do. In other countries the bus, trains and planes would depart and arrive on the scheduled time. Hence, you need to be there before the time. Because as one phrase says, “If you are on time, then you are already late.”
In the New Testament, there were two words for time: Chronos and Kairos. Chronos time is clock time. That is where the word chronological comes from. It is measured by hours, minutes and seconds and is sequential. On the other hand, the Bible also used Kairos time. For example, the Epistle to the Galatians used the word Kairos. It means “the right time” or “the fullness of time” when Jesus was born. Or more clearly, Kairos means “God’s appointed time.”
According to Tezenlo Thong, Pastor of Simpson United Methodist Church, “Kairos time is illusive and hard to grasp for a modern person. We are much more familiar with chronos time.” I would like to re-echo the challenge of Tezenlo to live our lives according to Kairos time, and not to be enslaved by chronos time. He further wrote, “Kairos time is measured not by a mechanical clock, but in terms of quality. It is quality time. It is experienced and unhurried. It is being and participating in time, not running after time…It is being in the moment and enjoying the time. It is sacred time when we experience meaning and value in relationships and living life. Kairos is when we experience the divine and have “aha” moments.”
Let it be that we will live our lives according to Kairos time – God’s own timing, and not to be enslaved by chronos time.
May God bless us all!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Office of Communications
Central Philippine University