In the Bible, there are two main words for time. The first is chronos – something we see appear in English words like “chronology.” Chronos is clock time; it’s minutes and hours and days. Chronos happens like clockwork (literally), for it is the regular passing of seasons and times.
The other word for time that we see in scripture is kairos. Unlike chronos, kairos isn’t that interested in the clock; it’s focused on the content. Kairos doesn’t so much measure time, as it makes use of time. Kairos is finding meaning in the minutes; it’s seeing (and making) purpose in this time, this moment, this now.
Why the Greek lesson? It’s because our mentors make use of chronos AND kairos. Mentoring begins this week at schools throughout Oldham County, and each week our mentors have a chronos moment on the calendar. If they have committed to be at the school on Wednesday at 1:00, well, then that’s the chronos moment when their mentees and the schools expect them to show up. And, of course, it’s really important for our mentors to be there; showing up is the first half of the commitment they have made.
However, it’s possible to keep the chronos commitment, but miss the kairos moments. For mentoring isn’t just about taking the time, it’s about making use of the time. It’s about being there, yes; but, even more, it’s about being fully there, ready to love, listen, and encourage. Chronos is about being there, but kairos is about being ready to engage the students, right where they are.
So, remember our mentors as they connect this week with their students. Pray that in the midst of chronos time, they will experience kairos moments, too.