Chronos and kairos. Tick tock and catching the wave. If you missed the last post have a look now. If you read it, then think again about your answers to the last questions: have you ever had a kairos moment? Was the working and waiting worth it?
I said we’d have a look at the point of understanding chronos and kairos today. The first point is this: understanding kairos let’s us maintain hope in the chronos.
It isn’t always easy being a Christian. Sometimes it can feel like we are doing all the right things but not seeing the results we expect. We hear from others and read in scripture the promises of what God wants to do through us, how He loves and wants to move in the world to free, heal and redeem, how He has already filled us with the power of His Spirit and how we can expect to see all of this happen if we simply step out. Then we finally pluck up the courage, step out, and….nothing…or worse….we’re misunderstood, demeaned, rejected, kicked out…we find trouble.
What’s going on?
If you resonate with that sentiment, whatever it may look like for you, then take heart. You’re not forgotten, failing, getting it wrong, or unlucky. You’re living the normal Christian life, but….you may have taken your eyes off the wave.
As Christians we’re called to live in the chronos with out eyes on the kairos. We’re called to work and to wait, it is the shape of our lives, but with eyes fixed on the extraordinary intervention of God – His presence in the midst of us. When we understand how Jesus tells time we can work and wait without stopping hoping.
Danielle tells how part of her role is to visit massage parlours in her local town. These are not innocent places, more goes on here than massage, but they visit taking cakes simply wanting to show God’s love and build relationship. She described knocking on the door of one parlour and being greeted by the manageress. She only just managed to introduce herself when she was told, ‘We don’t want you here’ and the door was slammed in her face. She managed to blurt out ‘See you next week!’ as the door closed.
Next week she visited and the same happened again: ‘We don’t want you here!’…slam! The next week was the same, and the next, and the next. Six times she visited, six times she was told to leave, six times the door slammed shut….
The seventh week she went again, cakes in hand, and knocked on the door. This time the door opened wide, the manageress cried out ‘Thank God you’re here!’ and led her straight away into the back room. A young girl was there obviously distressed. The manageress told the girl to say to Danielle exactly what she’d just said to her. The girl cried out, ‘I need forgiveness, I need to be healed, I need to be free!’ Danielle introduced her to Jesus and right then and there she gave her life to him.
Danielle caught the wave. 6 weeks of working and waiting. 6 weeks of rejection, slammed doors, seeming pointlessness, obstruction, no way through. 6 weeks of chronos. The one moment of kairos. She couldn’t predict it or make it happen. She didn’t do it – only God could. All she did was kept on paddling to where the wave must break and waiting, ready to catch whatever wave came passed.
When that wave broke, do you think she counted up the weeks before to work out whether it was worth trying again? No way. She just experienced kairos, God moving and breaking in, a young girl’s ilfe being changed, her self-worth returned, a young girl discovering that she’s not a failure or messed up, but is loved and valued by the One who made everything. Danielle went straight back out hunting waves.
God is always faithful. He is always moving. The wave is going to break. The biggest danger we have is that we become the surfer who gave up and went home. The wave may not always be exactly what we expected. We don’t control it, we don’t make it happen, we simply put ourselves in its path, wait and get ready to surf. If you are working and waiting based on what you’ve heard God say and promises he’s made, then be encouraged – he is always faithful, his timing is impeccable…but he won’t ask our permission. Let’s not get discouraged but encourage one another to keep our eyes on him, remembering what he has already done, and trusting for what he has promised is to come.
This is how we live in present moment. It’s a reflection of another time to come, a kairos moment to not only invade but to end all chronos, a wave that will not stop flowing. This is what we’ll talk about next post. For now, be encouraged, God is always moving.