Kairos


The Greek god “Caerus,” also known as “Kairos.” Image credit

The ancient Greeks have a god called “Caerus,” also known as “Kairos.” [1] He personified opportunity. Statues of this god show that he has wings on his feet, a lock of hair on the front of his head and bald on the back of his head. At the base of the statue, people can read this inscription.
What is thy name? My name is Opportunity. Why hast thou wings on thy feet? That I may fly away swiftly. Why hast thou a great forelock? That men may seize me when I come. Why art thou bald in back? That when I am gone by, none can lay hold of me. [2]
That’s why Kairos is also called “the god of the ‘fleeting moment’”. [3] Somebody wrote that there are “three things that never come back: the spent arrow; the spoken word; the lost opportunity.” But another countered it: “A lost opportunity doesn’t mean it’s the last opportunity.” 

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Whether it can come back or not, what’s important is that we are to seize or make the most of our opportunity when it comes. 

According to Ephesians 5:15-16, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Emphasis added) The Greek word for “time” in verse 16 is “kairos.” So, the New International Version translated it this way: “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Emphasis added)
“Buying up the opportunity—taking advantage of it.” An old Chinese adage says, “Opportunity has a forelock so you can seize it when you meet it. Once it is past, you cannot seize it again.” Our English word opportunity comes from the Latin and means “toward the port.” It suggests a ship taking advantage of the wind and tide to arrive safely in the harbor. The brevity of life is a strong argument for making the best use of the opportunities God gives us. [4] 
We are to teach our children to make the most of the opportunity that God gave them by living carefully and wisely. Though there’s more to opportunity than time, time is also an opportunity. Somebody said, “Time wasted is opportunity lost.”
“Time wasted is opportunity lost.” Image credit

Thus, making the most of one’s time is a great place to start. MacArthur wrote, “Outside of purposeful disobedience of God’s Word, the most spiritually foolish thing a Christian can do is to waste time and opportunity, to fritter away his life in trivia and in half-hearted service of the Lord.” [5] We won’t always have the time to do what we should do. So, we have to make the most the time that we have. In fact, we cannot even save time. It would run even if we use it or not. We can do a task faster but we cannot really save time like money in the bank. We can only make the best use of it.

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Time also reveals our priorities. We spend time on what is important to us. The use of our time is a good indicator of our values. This is the reason why Dr. Steve Hobson, our leadership professor in the International Graduate School of Leadership, had us write our vision and mission first and then had us track our schedule and see if the way we use our time reflects it, that it draws us closer to its fulfillment rather than father from it. 

Making the Most” Step

How can our children make the most of their time? What occupies most of their time? Discuss with them if it’s the best use of their time or not.

NOTE: This is Day Two of the devotional guide (Volume 1, Issue 7) of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the message on Pass It On! (Part 2)” last April 12.  

[1] “Caerus,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caerus, accessed April 10, 2015.

[2] John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Ephesians (Philippines: Christ for Greater Manila, 1989), 222.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Warren Wiersbe, “Ephesians” in The Bible Exposition Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1989) 47. Emphasis added.

[5] MacArthur.

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