Friday, January 9, 2009
CHRONOS OR KAIROS
During this first part of 2009 I have been thinking of “Time.” It is interesting that in the Greek new testament there are two words often translated “time.” But they have different meanings and refer to two different things.
One word is “chronos,” and is from that word we get our English word, chronology. It refers to time in general. It denotes the quantity of time, and the passing of time. It refers to duration, whether long or short. The other word is “kairos.” It refers to a measure of time, the opportune or seasonable time, the right time, a limited time, to what time brings.
In short “chronos” refers to the movement of time. “Kairos” refers to the opportunity a certain moment or season brings us.
By the Way “Chronos” time can be broken down in many ways. There is nothing we can do about the chronology of time. It can’t be slowed, saved, or sped up.
• 1 picosecond (1 trillionth of a second) - about the shortest period of time we can currently measure accurately
• 1 nanosecond (1 billionth of a second) - 2 to 4 nanoseconds is the length of time that a typical home computer spends executing one software instruction
• 1 microsecond (1 millionth of a second)
• 1 millisecond (1 thousandth of a second) - The typical fastest time for the exposure of film in a normal camera. A picture taken in 1/1000th of a second will usually stop all human motion
• 1 centisecond (1 hundreth of a second) - the length of time it takes for a stroke of lightning to strike
• 1 decisecond (1 tenth of a second) - a blink of an eye
• 1 second - an average person’s heart beats once each second
Then, we examine the higher, more tangible, elements if time:• 60 seconds - one minute
• 60 minutes - an hour
• 8 hours - The typical workday in the U.S., as well as the typical amount of sleep a person needs every night
• 24 hours - a day. The amount of time for the earth to rotate one time on its axis
• 7 days - a week
• 40 days - about the longest a person can survive without food
• 365.24 days - a year. The amount of time it takes for the planet earth to complete one orbit around the sun
• 10 years - a decade
• 75 years - The typical life span for a human being
• 5,000 years - The span of recorded history
How is it we can measure time from its most finite position to its known extent, yet we cannot know, realize or accept what hour we are in right now?! That is where “Kairos” comes in. “Kairos” is our opportunity within the “Chronos” to make a difference.
What we do with our God given opportunity is all that counts. At the end of 2009, we can say, 365 days are gone and can never return, we will never see them again. But if we used our opportunities to honor God, and bless others, the results of that are not gone, but will go on bearing fruit.
I am not a seer, nor do I have special powers to look into the future. But if I am reading my Bible correctly and am seeing current events properly, we are living in most significant time since the first century. Perhaps we have a better opportunity than any generation before us to take the Gospel to every people. Christ says when that has been done, then the end will come.
“Carpe diem,” is a quotation from Horace's Odes (I, xi) is Latin and means ‘seize the day’, in other words ‘make the best of the present moment.’ Though the term in Horace's Odes was used with the idea of just living for today, and getting all the pleasure you can, I think the phrase can be sanctified and become a watchword for believers. We must as believers seize the moment. We must make the most of the opportunity God has given us.
Paul says in Ephesians
5:14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
"Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
MAY YOU BE IN TIME, ON TIME, DOING THE RIGHT THINK AT THE RIGHT TIME