While reading Ecclesiastes 3 recently my thoughts were drawn back to our courtship. Though we had met face to face, most of our dating happened long distance – Jerry in Indiana and me in California. Phone, email, and a monthly visit made by one of us were our life. Once we got engaged we had to make the decision about which one of us would move where and when. I would want to come up with those a
nswers NOW (or really several weeks prior to now), and Jerry would patiently say to me, “Kairos not Chronos.”
He would remind me that”chronos” refers to chronological timing, and “kairos” is the Greek word for “the fullness of God’s time.” Clearly though I wanted the decisions made NOW (chronos), deep down I wanted even more to know that we were acting in kairos, even if I didn’t like to wait.
So back to this week; I was reading Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NLT)
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
I found such comfort, even amidst some rebuke in this passage. While I have to live within the confines of chronos in this world, it’s such an encouragement to know that there is more to this life than the minute by minute press of time and deadlines. In the fullness of God’s time there is no rush, no hurry, no “oops, I forgot that.”
When we travel I reset my clock and my body to the new time zone. Ecclesiastes 3 reminds me I am due for an even more important time change; recalibrating my calendar, my thoughts, and my attitude to kairos.