The ancient Greeks used two words for time. The first was chronos and referred to clock time – time that can be measured – seconds, minutes, hours, years.
Kairos was the second. “Where chronos is quantitative, kairos is qualitative. It measures moments, not seconds. Further, it refers to the right moment, the opportune moment. The perfect moment. The world takes a breath, and in the pause before it exhales, fates can be changed.” (McKinley Valentine)
The older I become, the more I realize that my life has really been measured in kairos moments — those times when I have forgotten completely about the clock and have gotten lost in the aliveness of the moment. They have occurred in a variety of experiences, some of them alone: composing music, photographing nature or angels, taking a walk, writing a story, singing, or simply looking up at the stars. But most often, they have occurred when I’m with others: gathering with family, being part of a theater production, sharing dinner with friends, or having a heart-to-heart conversation.
While every second of time (and life) is precious, a moment in chronos time is essentially lost once it passes. A kairos moment, on the other hand, adds more time to our lives — not in seconds or minutes, but in the significance of that particular experience.
My wish for you this holiday season, is that you are blessed with the awareness of the kairos moments in your life — remembering the ones from your past; recognizing them in your present; and gratefully awaiting those yet to come.