One of the questions Terri and I have been frequently asked was regarding why we choose to walk the Camino at this time in our lives. It is a common question to ask someone who chooses to dedicate such effort and time and resources to walk this far (500 miles). We both feel in a lot of ways we were called to walk it. It just felt right for us at this time in our lives.
We recently read an reflection by Fr. George Smiga, entitled “What Time Is It?” that I think really hits the mark in regards to explaining what we mean by the “right time” for our Camino walk.
Fr. Smiga points out that in the Greek language they have two words for the single word “time” that we have in our English language. The first word is “Chronos“. Chronos is clock time. Clock time measures things. It marks intervals and does not care about any of the things that happen within it.
The other kind of time is “Karios”. “Karios time is not clock time. It is the right time, the time when good things happen. Karios is the time we are waiting for, the time when all things come together. Karios, is God’s time, the time in which we see God working… Kairos is time we remember always – the time we met our spouse, found the courage to forgive an enemy, realized what we wanted to do with our lives, held a child or grandchild in our arms for the first time, or made a sacrifice which changed ourselves and others. We remember these times because they are kairos. This is the time on which we hang our lives. Karios does not measure life. It is life. It is not the time we live through. It is the time we live for.” (Fr. George Smiga)
I found this to be such a profound insight for me. In thinking about the Camino walk, we realize that it was indeed our “Karios” time. We are so thankful we recognized that it was our “Karios” moment. We know it now. It was just the right time and we will always remember it and how we were changed by it.
The reality is that we have a lot of potential “Karios” moments in our lives but we might be missing them if we live our lives only in the chronos clock time. We need to be alert and looking for those karios moments or they will pass us by. Don’t let them pass you by!
John and Terri