Living a Kairos Advent in a Chronos World

“This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15, NAB)

“For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly.” ((Romans 5:6) NAB)

The English language is limited in its descriptions. As you may know, the Greek language has four words for love.  Agape describes God’s love for us and our love for God. Eros describes physical attraction. Philia is the love between friends. Storge describes a parent’s affection for their children.

The same holds true for time. The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos.  We are all familiar with chronos or clock time as we know it. It is a quantitative measure of time as we do with our chronograph watches.

Kairos is different. It is the measure of moments, especially the right moment.  Kairos is qualitative. You can’t put it on your calendar or plan for it in any way. Kairos moments just happen and you know it when it does!

In all the moments of our lives, in the pause between breaths, some moments are more valuable than others.

The moment you say your wedding vows is a kairos moment. Witnessing the birth of your child is a kairos moment. Winning the championship game is too.

Kairos moments can be smaller too. For me, a walk with Diane on the beach in Naples, Florida can be a special moment. Hearing a song on the radio that jogs a beautiful memory from a time past can be a valuable moment.

Kairos can describe right opportunity moments as well. The warm feeling we get when we put aside chronos time and serve others. When we stop everything we are doing to console a crying child, throwing our calendar out the window, we experience an opportunity moment.

Have you ever regretted a missed opportunity? I have! We do when we allow the clock to limit our “Kodak Moments.”

Advent is the perfect time to focus on those special moments. Shopping for the perfect gift, decorating our homes and planning the perfect holiday meal make it a daunting task.

This Advent season, let’s try to slow down, find a quiet place and enjoy being in the moment.

Sit in front of the beautiful Christmas tree that you worked so hard to get perfect and enjoy it! Try saying the rosary in front of the manger scene in the living room. Or, enjoy a conversation with your grandchild on what’s happening in his or her life.

What happened in a manger over 2,000 years ago is still available today. We just need to make it a priority to stay in the moment. Let’s mark this Christmas in the quality of Kairos “right moments.” If not, then the birth of our Lord and Savior will simply become another past date on our calendar.

Have a blessed Advent season.

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