>”But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son…” Gal. 4.4
Since the invention of the mechanical clock and the emergence of the industrial revolution, western civilization has become acutely aware of chronological time.
Every Sunday is “planning night” for Abbey and I. We sit down and plan the entire week down to the hour. All week long I am constantly aware of what time it is and what I am supposed to be doing at that time.
I’ve been piecing this idea together for awhile now… God doesn’t operate on my chronological time but rather on His “kairos” time. In other words, I think God is much more concerned with development rather than chronology.
“…when the fullness of time had come…”
The stage of humanity was set so that the timing was right for the author of life to be born. This has way more to do with development than a predetermined year in the mind of God. This is applicable to the second coming. Only the Father knows the day and hour of the second coming. I don’t think that this means there is a predetermined year (2052 or whatever) that the Father has decided for the return of Jesus.
Of course, God works in terms of years and days… 70 years of captivity… 40 days and nights in the ark… 12 disciples… etc. numbers ARE significant to God and there is meaning in those things, but I think we have applied this to the ultimate extreme with our obsessing over chronological time.
Why does this idea matter? (chrono vs. kairos)
In our relating with God we think in terms of chronological time far too often and miss the meaning of development or the lack thereof. We say things like “time heals” or we allow the chronological distance from our last sin to color our relationship with God for the better or worse, rather than thinking in terms of development.
Example: If it’s been a whole month since I said something stupid that hurt someone’s feelings, I’m feeling ok about that. However, if I never really made amends with that person, asked God for forgiveness, or dealt with any of the root issues that gave rise to it, NOTHING has REALLY changed; only the passage of time. I have to seek restitution in this situation regardless of the passage of time. Apply this to spiritual development. This is why a Christian can be a believer for 30 years and not really moved forward very much. There is a false sense of security with chronological time that is meaningless without God’s kairos time.
If you think about it, this idea has some far reaching implications for theology, practical thinking and living and most importantly, our relationships with others and God.