04 November 2005

About one year ago a friend and student of mine at George Fox University (www.georgefox.edu) drowned in the cold waters off the Central Oregon Coast. Her name was Karissa Edwards. The past few days I've been thinking about Karissa, and missing her.

Here are some thoughts about time that I shared at Karissa's Memorial Service. I offer them as a testimony to a life intentionally lived for the Kingdom of God, to a life sacrificially and compassionately poured-out in nearly countless ways to the people God sent across her path, to a life that stands out like a candle in the darkness as an example of the transformation power of "joy" (see Galatians 5:22-23).

Here's what I shared ...

There are two primary words translated “time” in the New Testament. One is chronos and the other is kairos. Chronos is the ticking of the clock hands – it’s the passing of time. Chronos describes that yesterday was Tuesday and then some time, some chronos passed, and now it’s Wednesday.

The other word for “time” is kairos, and kairos is something altogether different than chronos. Kairos is the kind of time that doesn’t have anything to do with Palm Pilots or calendars. Kairos is God-time.

Kairos is the kind of time spoken of when a woman’s water breaks and she yells out to her husband, “It’s time!” It’s the kind of time Modecai spoke of when he said to Esther in Esther 4:14, “And who knows, but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this.” Kairos is time orchestrated and held by God and by God alone. No clocks are ever involved in kairos.

While here on earth we’re trapped by chronos – but God desperately wants to teach us about kairos, about listening to and obeying His promptings, even when life continues to swirl around us. Learning to live in kairos doesn’t mean ignoring the realities of this world while straining to see the reality of God. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

When we look at all of life through the lens of kairos time, through the lens of a life bent toward the heartbeat of God – it’s then and only then that we begin to …

live fully-present with God, and
talk with God as a way of life, and
listen to God with the regularity of drawing breath, and
obey God consistently and passionately

In other words, it’s only as we begin to live fully aware of kairos, that chronos will begin to make sense.

Karissa Edwards knows kairos full-time now. She’s all done with class schedules, wristwatches and floor hours. But if you knew Karissa, even a little, then you already knew that she lived pretty fully in kairos here on earth. In fact I’d say that she lived in it as completely as almost anybody I’ve ever known.

And I don’t think she’d like anything better than if you or I followed her lead and learned to be kairos people, people not bound by chronos, people set-free by the beauty of living life more fully aware of kairos, more fully engaged with kairos, more fully alive in kairos ... in God-time. Godspeed.




Marta said...

Thanks for this Gregg. I long to live by God-time.

Marta said...

Thanks for this Gregg. I long to live by God-time.