Stepping Into Kairos - Kimberly Thompson


There are two words for time in the Greek language – chronos and kairos. Chronos is where we get our word “chronological,” and it conceptualizes time as a measurable space between regular and predictable events, like dawn and dusk, winter and summer. Over untold millennia, our measurement of time has become more and more precise, until we are now measuring milliseconds. We have become obsessed with chronological time, with sayings such as “time flies,” “wasting time,” and “time is money.” We view it as a resource and a commodity. In this view, all moments are alike, to be saved or to be spent.

            The other Greek word for time is kairos. In ancient Greek, kairos is the word used to mean “the right time” – that moment when all the puzzle pieces fall into place and there is a confluence of preparation, opportunity, and the courage to act. Today it is also used to mean the weather, which brings to mind the English phrase “the perfect storm.” In kairos time, not all moments are equal.

            There have been many kairos moments in my life. In fact, nothing of real importance in my life has just happened in chronos time. The things I have most deeply desired, and worked the hardest to bring to life, happened when the time was right. There is no rushing kairos.

            In psychology there is a concept called “locus of control.” Literally, locus of control asks: Do you believe you control your life, or do you believe external forces control your life? An internal locus of control, or belief that you are in control of your own life, is a good thing because without it you will just drift, feeling helpless and angry. It is, however, important that we all acknowledge the limits of our control. The most important events of our lives happen when all the puzzle pieces snap into place, a door of opportunity opens, and being awake and prepared, we walk through it. Those are kairos moments. They can’t be forced, planned, or manipulated into being.

            Time is a commodity, but that’s not all it is. If I have any resolution to make this year, it is to use my chronological time to prepare for kairos moments. They will come. May I step into them with faith and with confidence. May you do the same.


     I am Dr. Kimberly Thompson, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Lubbock, Texas. I work with mothers and their children to help them heal, grow, and live their most vibrant lives. My particular expertise is pregnant and postpartum women, and moms of “littles.” My book, Perfect Mothers Get Depressed, is available on Amazon and from Praeclarus Press. If you live within driving distance of Lubbock, you can work with me face-to-face; if you live anywhere else in the state of Texas, you can work with me via online therapy. Send me a message if you need more information, or call my office at (806) 224-0200 if you’re ready to book an appointment.