September 22, 2021

Pass the chronos, please

I often think about how the New Testament uses two Greek words for time, kairos and chronos. Times of kairos can be described as critical, make-or-break, pivot points, hinges of history, times of decision and all that. Chronos is like the ordinary run of times when things are not so...interesting. 

It seems like this truly is a time of kairos for the nation and the planet with so much at stake, including ensuring the future of democracy; dealing with catastrophic climate change; fighting off authoritarianism; addressing gross inequalities and such, all in the middle of a pandemic. And things seem pretty close to unraveling all over the place.

And, just to prove that God, the gods, Lady Fortuna and/or world history have a sense of humor, people from West Virginia are going to have a disproportionate impact for good or ill. Will the right to vote be guaranteed or will the forces of racist voter suppression win? Will we "build back better" with a stronger and cleaner infrastructure and more just economy for all? Will we take what may be a last chance to deal with climate?

Which also means, what are the most effective things that we can do here and now to move things in a more positive or at least less bad direction? A lot of my friends are working on it. And we're all feeling it.

I keep thinking about those lines from Lord of the Rings where Frodo said "I wish it need not have happened in my time." 

To which Gandalf replies, "So do I...and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

I wouldn't mind a good chunk of chronos right about now.

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