>Chrono vs. Kairos

>”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.

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About kurtkjohnson

Husband to Abbey Johnson, proud father, irregular blogger and occasionally creative. View all posts by kurtkjohnson

4 responses to “>Chrono vs. Kairos

  • BW:Roberts

    >I normally don’t read blog posts that long…but im glad i made the exception :)

  • Zondervan Life

    >great thoughts bro!! when can I have my own highlighter color in your planner? I prefer my blocks of time to be baby blue, since abby already took pink.

  • Mr. Black

    >Yes, yes, yes. Also exclude space from his concept, as geography is really a human convention. After all, wasn’t the resurrected Christ free of space? Say to this mountain, move. . .

  • El Brando

    >Great post my friend… that’s one of those things I’ll look out for during my reading times. Obviously, there are deeper meanings to some numbers that we don’t realize, (the 70 year exile is a great example) but I wonder if God communicates through chronological time not so much because it matters to Him, but because it carries so much weight with us. My grandpa once said that one of the most dangerous prayers one can pray is a prayer for patience. Patience can only be learned through chronological time, and it can be a painful lesson to be in the midst of. It forces us to focus less on the chrono and more on the kairos. It changes our perspective from the temporality humanity to the eternality of God. Maybe patience itself is a testament to the truth of your theory… and it should make us all wonder if we should be waiting on God to come back (like trying to coast until 2052) or if it’s our willingness to allow Him to work through us that will bring about the circumstances for His return. You can boil that down to everyday life too… Is praying and waiting for God to fix something just going to happen after a certain amount of time praying, or is God asking us to use our free will to progress the current situation to the desired outcome. God does work in ways outside of our control… supernatural ways, but I’ve found that He often waits on our obedience to answer most prayers. Sometimes I just want to curl up into a ball and wait for God to rescue me, but He is waiting on me to get out of my bed and fight. He has already made a way for me, and now all I have to do follow His voice out. We focus so much on the passing of sand through a glass, while the next grain for Him is one well placed foot in front of the other in the direction of His will…. Just some random thoughts

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