“There are two different types of time. Chronos time is what we live in. It’s regular time. It’s one minute at a time, staring down the clock until bedtime time. It’s ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, four screaming minutes in time-out time, two hours until Daddy gets home time. Chronos is hard, slow-passing time we parents often live in. Then there’s Kairos time. Kairos is God’s time. It’s time outside of time. It’s metaphysical time. Kairos is those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day, and I cherish them… These Kairos moments leave as fast as they come, but I mark them. I say the word Kairos in my head each time I leave Chronos. And at the end of the day, I don’t remember exactly what my Kairos moments were, but I remember I had them. That makes the pain of the daily climb worth it.” -Glennon Doyle Melton
I have heard this description of time before, I think in a sermon or from a friend, but I just read it again when I read Carry On, Warrior and it struck me! I obviously don’t think of it in the same way she does with the dramas of parenting, but I can definitely relate to the idea that she presents and was convicted. Every day I walk down the street, talk to students, go to the market, take out more pesos from the ATM, eat lunch, talk to my roommates, go to meetings, but do I really take it in that I freaking live in Uruguay?
The day before I moved here I had the incredible honor of being in my roommate and dear friend’s wedding (Love you big, K!). As bridesmaids the other girls and I made it our job to make sure K was taking it all in. We wanted to be absolutely sure she that was soaking up every sight, sound, prayer, photo opp, smell, taste, laugh, song, hug, emotion, memory.. every single moment of her big day. I mean, you only get married once, right!? So every few hours (or minutes, or seconds…) one of us would look at K and ask “Hey, hey you! K! Are ya soaking it up?!” I remember looking around during the reception at all of my best friends, dancing and singing (to Taylor Swift’s 22 to be exact) and getting teary-eyed thinking “Hey, hey you.. tomorrow you move away from all of these beautiful people and step into the unknown of Uruguay. Are ya soaking it up?!” I like to think that this day will forever be one that is special, close to my heart, and held perfectly in my memory. I know this is true because marriage is a commitment that is profound and God honoring, and watching someone you dearly love enter into something that big and that sacred is memorable. On top of that, spending that day with so many of your favorite people makes it unforgettable (And I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that it was my last night in America). But I also would like to believe that this day is now forever carved into my memory because we took the time, many times, all throughout the day, to pause and to celebrate.
Flash forward to week 7 in Uruguay when I’m sitting in my bed reading about Kairos time and realizing that I’ve been here for SEVEN WEEKS and I don’t even know if I’ve been soaking it up! Don’t get me wrong, I have definitely been enjoying life here! But I don’t want to just live here. I don’t even want to just enjoy living here. I want to enjoy living life, recognizing the little moments and joys and blessings from God along the way. This week I’m praying that I will live with my eyes and my heart wide open. That I will be able to see my days in this city the way that God wants me to see them and that I will take the time to pause and to celebrate. Kairos.