Thursday, September 02, 2010

Chronos and Kairos

The ancient Greeks had two different words for time, chronos and kairos. These two words of time differentiated the difference between “normal time” (chromos) and “special time” (kairos). Kairos time was a time that something special happened, a specific moment in time. In Christian circles, sometimes kairos is referred to as “the appointed time in the purpose of God.” In contrast, chromos is all the other time. This is equally important of an time, because it is all the other time that takes us through the day. It’s waking up in the morning; it’s showering and getting ready for the day; it’s driving to work; it’s… every day.
In urban ministry, there’s a lot of chronos time. Most of the time, we are in a holding pattern - praying, plugging away for something to happen. We meet with our friends who live on the streets; we make connections with ministry sites; we fight to for basic human rights.
For the most part, it’s hard work. It’s a process that can be difficult for people who want to see change right away. It’s hard waiting for the kairos time, where people decide they need a change. But recently in my life, there has been a great deal of kairos time, not specifically with the people I work with, but with work & in personal life, change has been a major theme in my life.
As the summer ends, I am learning to settle into the chronos time, and beginning to relax. I ask that you pray for God’s hand to continue in my life, and that He brings rest in this slow(er) season of Fall.

-Jonathan Liu, CSM Los Angeles City Director

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