Time is like a jigsaw puzzle. We can line the pieces of time up, in the order that they come out of the box. Or we can observe how the pieces fit together and create a beautiful image!
Time is like a temporal conveyor belt moving us moment-by-moment through life until we hit our dead line. However, the ancient Greeks realized that we can enhance the quality of our ride through time by carefully observing the moments when pieces of time come together.
Chronos is the conveyor belt. It is quantitative, chronological, sequential, day-by-day, time marching ever onward. A focus on chronos compels us into confining agendas as we strive to use time effectively through time management. A continual focus on chronos leaves us time-tormented.
Kairos, however, is qualitative, transcendent, liberating, opportune, meaningful moments that occur while we are riding the conveyor belt that carries us through chronos. A focus on kairos opens us up to the appreciation of special moments, as we “stop the rat race” and “smell the roses.” A continual expectation and awareness of karios leaves us time-transcendent.
In my own life, I have too many karios moments to count. As I look back over my life, the karios moments have suddenly opened doors of opportunity for me; given me great insight and inner peace; and drastically improved my life; far more than my own efforts at focusing on making the most of my chronos.
If I had missed the karios in my life (such as, meeting my wife, the birth of my daughter, my encounters with Christ, the family members I’ve had, the people I’ve met, the life-altering opportunities I’ve stumbled into, etc.), the wondrous turning points in my life, I would have missed out on so much adventure, well-being, fortuitous surprises, and inner peace and joy, as I have journeyed thorough my chronos.
Why not make a list of the top 10 karios moments in your life. I bet you won’t be able to stop at 10.
It’s about time!
(I was inspired to think about time by Stephen Hawking.)