Last week, I discussed a Hebrew word, Selah, which refers to a pause. In its own way, it’s a word related to time and timing. In music, keeping time is vital to preserving the integrity of the song and to facilitate congregational and choral singing as well as playing the instruments properly. The work of conducting an orchestra or directing a choir involves interpreting the musicT in a variety of ways, including setting and keeping time.
I have heard God referred to as a Conductor, who takes all the individual components of the orchestra/creation and makes music of the sounds we make, the rhythm we keep, and the talents we bring. That description resonates with me because a conductor isn’t a puppet master, pulling strings. We get to play our parts according to our free exercise of our talents and will. A conductor isn’t a magician or illusionist who makes things appear to happen that aren’t real or true. We actually get to live full lives, enjoying the rewards and reaping the consequences of our actions. A conductor isn’t a dictator who insists on uniformity.
Conductors use the gifts we have and amplify them. The conductor guides us from one place to another, knowing the destination they have in mind but not dictating our every move. Now, I have experienced choir directors who were…let’s say…more domineering than I am suggesting. I am sure there are conductors who share that same trait. But, the best ones know how to bring out the best in those they lead.
God is like that. The best leader we could ever have does not dictate, but directs. God invites, assists, and supports.
God also keeps time. This week, I’ll share two Greek words—kairos and chronos. They both refer to time but in two very distinct ways. Chronos (from which we get our “chronological”) refers to time marked on the calendar and the clock—seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years…. Kairos refers to the moment—not just any moment—but the moment. Kairos is all about when conditions are right or circumstances change. It’s not so much about the calendar as it is about occurrence. There are many events we remember, not for the date, but for the impact it had upon us.
It's hard to wait for the Kairos moment when we are so attuned to chronos time. They are not the same, and while one is predictable, the other is really not. God’s time is, in my view, primarily Kairos time. That is why folks used to say, “He may not come when you want him (chronos), but he’s always on time (Kairos)!”
Wait on the Lord. At the right time, God shows up, answers our prayers, and changes things…including us.
Let us encourage one another. Let us love our neighbor. Let us be the church.