It’s a greek word that’s consuming me. I am completely obsessed with the concept, the practice of it. In the greek it means “the supreme moment,” that ideal space in time, when something exceptional and great happens.
How does one practice kairos? Living in the moment, of course, which is much easier to say than do. My friend likens it to driving over speed bumps. When one slows down, taking the speed bump at the appropriate pace, the vehicle isn’t damaged and runs longer. When cars zoom over speed bumps faster than intended, the vehicle is damaged and, eventually, the owner is forced to stop and repair unnecessary damage.
Living in kairos is the later example, yes, the slowing down one. The idea of a “kairos moment” (redundant, yes, but, hey, english isn’t always a winner…) is circular involving several stages that begin with a pause:
Observe – What’s happening around me? In me?
Reflect – What am I thinking and feeling about it?
Discuss – What input can I glean from others’ ideas and experiences relative to this moment? What do others think about my reactions, thoughts, and opinions about this?
Plan – What can I do now? How can I grow from this experience?
Account – Involve someone else in this plan for support and accountability.
Act – Live out that internal process, giving life the idea.
The idea of kairos is beautiful, I think. It’s the completeness of it. Clearly, it’s a different way of living, but it’s rich, because it allows deep experiences of joy and pain, accounting for the importance of both to personhood.
So I’m trying to practice kairos, slowing down intentionally to be in the moment, feel it and move forward from it. I’m not sure what it looks like; this depends on what’s happening, I suppose, but I’m looking forward to slowing down over those bumps.