Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On Chronos, Schole, and Kairos

I have looked and looked at the title I assigned this post.  Really hoping that when you readers see it, it doesn't sound like "On Dasher, On Dancer On Prancer..." in your minds. :)  Now on to the purpose of this blog.  I'm so weird, I know....

 I happened to catch a little blip from one of those 5-minute Christian radio commentaries as I was driving this morning.  Set my mind to thinkin'.  I like it when that happens.  I like to think on good things. In this commentary, the speaker turned our attention toward Ephesians 5:16, where we are instructed to "Redeem the time, because the days are evil." 

After doing a little digging, I learned that there are three different words for "time" in the Greek language:  Chronos, which refers to the natural passage of time.  (where we get our word chronological); and there is Schole, which means leisure time, spare time, time of ease (someone please fill me in on what this is?? can I get a witness?). In this particular Scripture, the Greek word used for time was Kairos, which refers to an opportune time, a specific favorable time, the "right time", or a crises moment.

So if we are to redeem the moments of opportunity, the moments of crisis decisions, then we need to be learning to pay attention to those moments.  We need to be living in the Spirit so that we can sense when He is prompting us to tune in a little closer and make the most of what is right before us.  This kinda rang a bell for me, because as I have continued to think on this through the morning, I recognize that when I am closer to the Lord and His Word, I am more likely to be led into moments of redemption.  I have seen this play out in both significant and "insignificant" ways. 

As a parent, the more I am watching for Kairos, the more likely I am to have meaningful teachable moments with my children, that would surely have been missed in the everyday Chronos otherwise!! Without question, the times of greatest joy and peace in my parenting journey have occurred when I have allowed God to help me pause and use what is right in front of me to convey His truth to my kids.  I have blogged about this in the past.  I never equate those times with creativity or any great skill on my part.  I truly view it in light of this Scripture, that God is helping me seize that exact moment and redeem it.

 As a daughter of God, the more I am walking in His Spirit, the more likely I am to break from the typical daily pattern, and notice another human being struggling on their journey.  These are the moments when I see a complete stranger in the Walmart parking lot, and am overwhelmed with the urge to pray for that soul, though I've never seen them before and will likely never see them again. Or to walk over to a sobbing young person on a bench and simply say "I'm sorry you're hurting.  I care.  Jesus cares."  I have had moments like that recently, that cannot be explained by any rationale other than the presence of the Holy Spirit prompting me to Redeem the Kairos.

It makes me sad to think of all the moments I have let slip by unredeemed because of my own selfishness, or frankly just my own pain that makes it hard push past to doing the right thing, and look beyond my limited sphere.

Let this be an encouragement to us all.  Begin looking for those nuggets of time, those moments of crisis opportunity and see what beauty God can bring from them.  He is, after all, the Great Redeemer!


Charity said...

Good to see you blogging away! Nice thoughts, too! Redeeming the time is so crucial to parenting. And I wouldn't have thought of the reindeer if you hadn't mentioned it, but now... you shot yourself in the foot, my friend ;o)

Tara said...

ah well, my bad! :) That's how it kept "sounding" in my weird head!

I'm a little rusty, but it feels good to blog again. Just a lot more quiet here than it used to be in the good ole days!

Anonymous said...

So well said!!!! Thank you.
And no, you're not weird. You made me giggle. ;)

The Dickinsons said...

Glad to see you blogging again too. I just got to fly to TN and be with my family. It was so fun to be with my cousins (including Marty) again! =)

Good post!