But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. - II Peter 3:8-9
I tend to want to do things and get them done; I don’t like to leave things undone. However, I continue to be spiritually prompted and reminded to be aware of the difference between chronos and kairos. Chronos (in Greek, χρονος) is our time – the time of our clocks and calendars. However, in the Kingdom of God, we find that things run according to kairos (in Greek, καιρος). Kairos is “the appointed time in the purpose of God.” In short, kairos is God’s time.
Chronos and kairos don’t run concurrently. Actually, God could care less about things being done in our time, and that frustrates us. Timetables, schedules, estimates, Protestant work ethics – God will not be rushed, nor slowed down, by these human efforts. I want the church to grow, I want new programs to start, I want new disciples to be nurtured. These things might happen – but they will happen in God’s time, not my own.
Living in kairos takes some spiritual awareness and maturity – to be able to hear God’s still small voice, to discern the will of God through spiritual promptings, and to come to repentance so that we might know sin, grace, and forgiveness. Perhaps one of our prayers in the Lenten season can be for God to teach us how to live in kairos.
Patience, fellow grasshoppers.