Have you ever had a moment that seemed to freeze, framed in your memory for eternity? It’s as if your whole world is on pause, and everything else fades away. These momentary glimpses of eternity burn into our subconscious presence, and we remain in a temporary state of disassociation…
The ancient greeks divided time into two dimensions. They looked at the natural movement of the world through a sequential order, and developed an assumed chronology. “Chronos” is the natural progression of hours, days, and seasons. We live in a chronos understanding of time; our hours are calculated for pay regulation, our holidays fall into rhythm with the seasons, and our years become measured by time spent and time remaining. We have developed phrases such as, ‘a window of time’, or we worry that we are ‘wasting time’ ~ all of which speaks to chronos, which is measured by quantity.
But then, there are moments that seem to transcend the three dimensions of past/present/future. These are moments of human awareness of divine presence. The ancient greeks referred to these life-shaping moments that define us as “Kairos”, when time stands still.
Unlike chronos (measured by quantity), kairos is measured by quality.
The problem is that we are a generation that is suffocating in the trenches of technology. We are drowning in the anxiety of chronos, and we are being consumed by the subsequent anxiety thereof. Chronos has infected our soul, as we pledge allegiance to the kingdom of accumulation. Our children are taught to play three sports, extra-curricular activities, and to keep up with the competition. We feed them red-bull energy drinks through an iv, as we sip our coffee and chain-smoke in the worry that maybe they will turn out just like us.
And God speaks through burning bushes and gentle whispers.
All the while, my hurry and worry has become white noise to the delicate whisper of the Divine Presence. I have an earbud in one ear, a phone in the other, while I surf the internet and worry about why nobody has “liked” my facebook status. I don’t have time for burning bushes or the still, small voice of God.
This conviction has erupted within me in recent months.
Through much counsel, it has been revealed that I have been suffering from memory loss (almost two years) since a metaphorical bomb detonated in my brain. The aftermath of our exodus from Muskegon has left a lot of carnage, primarily in the absence from my three daughters. Daddy has no memory of their formative moments, and he is pissed off about it.
Last year I was taking a walk with my middle daughter, Ambria. She was five years old, and struggling to keep up with me as I hiked to the top of a hill overlooking our property. I could hear her huffing and whimpering, wanting me to slow down and walk with her. When I finally stopped and turned around, I was caught paralyzed in the moment: Who is this little girl? She isn’t a baby anymore… her little jeans were caught on the tip of her pink rubber boots. Her hiking stick was bigger than me, and her hair was a mess. Tears were coming down her eyes as she caught up to me. K a i r o s.
In that moment, I fell in love with her. In that moment, I burned the image into my heart, and I vowed that I would not be in such a hurry. In that moment, I stopped to listen and look and feel and hold her.
Kairos moments can melt your heart and take your breath away: The february wind over the Grand Canyon as you glance at your wife, while she clutches your arm. The time Mariah came over to me on the side-line in the middle of her soccer game, just to give me a dandelion (the only difference between a weed and flower is an opinion!). The last time I was with Matt Fulk, Harvey Wagenmaker, and Jason Sorn… diving off the bridge over Pete’s Bayou. The time I walked away from a terrible car accident that should have taken my life, leaving me barefoot on the side of the road. K a i r o s.
I want to be the kind of man that wakes up after a deep sleep and says, like Jacob,
“Surely, God was in this place and I was not aware of it!”.
I want to be the kind of daddy that teaches his daughters to watch the sunset and say,“Yahweh Shammah: The Lord is Here!”
I want to be the kind of husband who is madly in love and fully present with his wife as she tells me about her day.
I want to be the kind of friend who sit in the ashes of pain and despair or joy and celebration at life given and life taken, all the while saying: “Yahweh Shammah!”
The mountains are a refuge
where the audible voice of the divine whispers.
The trees are applauding the glory of God.
The bush is still burning.
And I am fully present.