Kairos - In God's Appointed Time
Popular post published first in my blog, The Bible Tells Me So on January 13, 2008.
Almost every living soul has moments of Kairos - instances where a person is so dramatically overwhelmed with life events that time stands still and is no longer relevant. When the things of common, normal life cease, and a person's focus is directed on one defining, specific, notable and special moment that has deep significance to him, as life itself is put on hold, and the drama of kairos unfolds.
Kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning the "right or opportune moment." It is used to define a specific time that exists in between regular time ("Chronos"); a moment of undetermined period of time in which something unique and special happens. It is a watershed moment that affects every aspect, forever more, of the person's life, and is measured with the nature of time that is defined by quality rather than quantity. It's the experience of time that occurs between the clicking seconds and moving hands; time stand stills as life unfolds and takes eternal significance. When our loved ones die, it happens. When we are faced with a truth that is so horrific that our normal minds can hardly grasp, it happens. When we are faced with a life change beyond our control, when our souls are overwhelmed with sadness and lostness, when change abruptly comes to us unawares, the time of kairos transcends the defined time of man.
Time is elusive to mere mortal man. We have measured it since ancient time with the sun and the seasons, and as our minds developed so did our timepieces. It was only in the twentieth century, when the thoughts of brilliant minds speculated that our timepieces were not as reliable as the sun that we circle. Albert Einstein thought it possible for time travel, and others thought with him to a place in space where his hypothesis might be proven true. Scientists measured the atomic clock of an airplane traveling around the world with one set firmly upon the ground, and found a loss of time in the airplane. Soon, exacting mathematic calculations were perfected for the measurements in space as the speed of light was correlated with time, and the movement of both more deeply understood.
We know that if an astronaut flew 2 1/2 years at the speed of sound into space, then turned his spaceship around, and flew back to earth in another 2 1/2 years, then five years would have been lived by the astronaut. But, when he exited his spaceship, 31 years would have passed on earth, and he would have traveled to his past. Time travel is not an imagination, but a relevant and possible truth, that is now in the forefront of scientific exploration than ever before.
The LORD God is omniscient and knows all things, a truth that all believers in Him are certain. The Calvinist would argue that it makes no difference in human freedom, because there is no choice in the end, since He knows all and chooses life to occur according to His Will only. The Scientist might declare the success of evolution to define life in the time of man. The Atheist might conclude that life is to be lived now, with no consideration of time be given.
What if our newest understandings of time were applied to the ways of our LORD God. What if the aspect of kairos was the movement of God Himself, as the defining moments in life are without the restriction of time? What if His Will is moved and offered to those in the time of kairos, and the decisions to accept His way forever joined to Him through time eternal? What if it was Him that stopped time for our souls, to allow us to face the horrific, confusing, difficult, trying, emotional, life-changing events to give us an opportunity to reflect, analyze and respond with clear mind and intent?
The Word of God speaks of times of kairos.
In the defining moment for the world, when time surely must have paused and the most life-changing event of the Gospel began...
“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)
Time was fulfilled, and for a moment, the time of Kairos was at hand. Life hushed and time stood still as the Son of God began his ministry that would lead to the fulfillment of His Father's Will.
In fact, we are warned by our Savior in how to respond when the time of Kairos comes upon our spiritual recognition at the beginning of End Times.
“And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ]; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end [is] not by and by.” (Luke 21:8-9)
We're promised times of Kairos when we need refreshing from the terrible times that involve our natural lives and our separation from God seem so far from Him...
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” (Acts 3:19)
The mystery of time is able to be explored, understood and known through the deep study of His Word. The Kairos word is used 81 times (καιρός - Greek #2789, Strong’s #2540) in the New Testament Bible, and in each instance, we realize through our studies that it is a time stopping event, a significant and special adjustment of time, made by the LORD God Himself to move His Will at the beat of His Timepiece.
The LORD God is all-knowing and His Nature of Omniscience possible because time does not contain, control, nor move Him. He is the God of Time, and moves it according to His Will.
Kathy L. McFarland