Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. (So many people have taken credit for this quotation; I will not attribute it to anyone.)
Jesus saw time through two lenses. "Chronos," which is "the march of time," "pressed for time," "time is running out" kind of time. And "kairos," which is "the right time," the pregnant moment," "the fullness of time," and "in the moment" kind of time.
Being "in love," or taking the much-hoped-for vacation or a new baby usually take place in kairos time. Waiting on a root canal or final grades or a pregnancy test is chronos time. "Where did the time go?," is kairos time. "I'm bored," is chronos time. We fight chronos because, deep down inside, we know it ends in our death and the death of other people and other opportunities.
Jesus said that God's Kingdom (the reality of God's desires for us in this life) was not measured by chronos but by kairos. In other words, when we chose to live for God (in his Kingdom,) we move from the busy, press of time to a "take your breath away time." True, one could take a roller coaster that plunges 150 feet in an instant. That would take our breath away. We could medicate ourselves with booze or drugs or the internet and loose track of time. Both depend on the right circumstances, however. The kingdom takes our breath away and is independent of the circumstances. Jesus was at peace (in kairos time) while suffering the pain of crucifixion (chronos time.) Peace won out.
God wants us to experience life each and every moment. In Christ, that gift is ours. While we live in a chronos world, we also can live kairos moments if our world view is God's. I pray you have a kairos day and your breath is taken away this day by the fullness of God in your life.
The Rev. Jim Liberatore, Rector
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church