Kairos, Part 2

One of my favorite things about having an active, healthy relationship (never perfect, but hopefully always growing!) with Jesus is the hindsight. Looking back on my life and seeing so clearly (sometimes even so blatantly obviously) his hand at work is such a joy and is often what moves me to deeper devotion and commitment to him.

Two months and three days ago, I wrote a blog post about kairos. Exactly one week after posting the blog, I received a call from Azusa Pacific University (APU) to come in for an interview. And now, two months and three days later, I have ended my tenure at University College and begin my new job at APU tomorrow.

Whew, does our God move quickly when he’s movin’ and shakin’. The scary-exciting thing is I don’t think he’s done yet, either.

Kairos, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens.

The past two weeks have had me experiencing all the emotions that come with leaving a job and community I love, and transitioning to a similar yet unfamiliar new job and community. Friday was especially overwhelming, and it hasn’t sunk in yet that tomorrow I won’t be at “Donuts & Devotions” in the morning, won’t get to catch up and collaborate with my friends in our weekly managers meeting in the afternoon, won’t be able to (lovingly) prank my colleagues anymore… Actually, that last one I’ll still do, just will need to be more creative now.

The verse of my heart song remains the same: “Call me,” says the Lord, “and I’ll show you great and mighty things you have not yet seen.”

I am scared, optimistic, nervous, and excited to step into this new season, and am ready to embrace whatever God’s got in store for me. Just like when Hobbits trust Gandalf, once I decide to trust God and commit to the new adventures he’s calling me to, excitement and enthusiasm overtake me. I know there will be times of doubt (I am, after all, human), but my God is greater and stronger and never fails.

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”

America’s Favorite Pastime

Recent polls, surveys, articles, blogs, etc., claim that football is now “America’s Favorite Pastime.” But if it were up to me, there’d be only baseball. I don’t have much interest in watching football on tv (though it helps having the digitally-added first down line), and I blame this entirely on my upbringing. I grew up in East County, San Diego, where the Chargers were good once maybe (I have a faint memory of getting a Super Bowl shirt sometime in the 90s) and where my high school’s team won just two games in four years. Football really stinks when your team always loses.

If we go outside of the United States, “football” is an entirely different game. I played soccer/football/futbol for six years as a kid and refereed for a while after that. I don’t follow any team religiously (though when I was living in Spain and Beckham was playing for Real Madrid, it was impossible not to get caught up in the fervor), but when the World Cup or Olympic games are on, you can count on me to be watching, regardless of the hour. I quite enjoy soccer, and have even been to a few Galaxy games.

But I’m not talking about football or soccer; I’m talking about baseball.

My dad and I made a short weekend visit to Arizona this weekend to catch a couple of spring training games. The theme for this year’s MLB spring training season is “train to reign,” which at first I thought was just the Padres’ mantra for the season but then I saw every team wearing the slogan on their warm-up jerseys. (How can they all “train to reign,” when at least a handful of teams – yes, possibly the Padres – will be doing anything but reigning?)

Friday night found us at the Peoria Sports Complex, spring training home for the Mariners and Padres. The Padres were taking on World Series champs, the Kansas City Royals. It was definitely a little magical to see the Royals in person, especially after watching them fight their way to the top last season. It was even more magical to see the Padres beat them, 3-1.

Former Padre Cody Decker.

Former Padre Cody Decker

Travis Jankowski at bat.

Non-roster invitee Adam Rosales had a great night.

Non-roster invitee Adam Rosales had a great night.

Saturday afternoon’s game had Pops and I heading over to Camelback Ranch, spring training home for the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Little bit bigger stadium than Peoria, and definitely a lot more crowded. The Dodgers (originally from Brooklyn) used to train in Florida but moved to Arizona in 2009. So it was the home state team (Diamondbacks) taking on the Dodgers, and the stadium was full.

Before the game, Dodger oldie (literally – he’s 88 years old) Tommy Lasorda was signing autographs and greeting fans. It was warm, but the clouds kept us comfortable. The game had more action than the Padres/Royals game the night before, with two home runs, a couple of double-plays, and stolen bases. Pops and I were wearing our Adrian Gonzalez Padres jerseys, and I wore my new SD hat, and we only got booed once (in the parking lot, after the game).

Tommy Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda

Proverbs 22:6 in action.

Proverbs 22:6 in action.

Former Padre Adrian Gonzalez

Former Padre Adrian Gonzalez

I now have 28 days before the 2016 baseball season opens, and thus 28 days to watch Ken Burns’ documentary Baseball.

Let’s go, Padres!

**All photos property of Emily Belsey, (c) 2016. To check out more photos from the weekend, click here.


The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairosChronos, as one might infer, refers to chronological and sequential time and is where the word chronology comes from. The word kairos signifies a time lapse, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens. Kairos is a propitious moment for decision or action, a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action; the opportune and decisive moment. In the New Testament, kairos (used approximately 81 times) means the appointed time in the purpose of God, the time when God acts. Mark 1:15 – “Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.'”

“This is the right time, and this is the right thing” – Sir Thomas More


On Monday, January 25th, a good friend and colleague of mine had her last day at work. She’d been offered a job to coordinate for weddings at a high-end florist she’d been doing part-time work for. Not a hard choice, really, save for leaving a community she loved and who loved and cherished her. But no one blamed her for leaving HR to work with the flowers and bridezillas (I’m sure there are bridezillas) of Beverly Hills.

Four days later, she was admitted to the hospital and began her first round of chemotherapy for leukemia (AML). I was already missing my friend when she left us for Fleurish, but now the missing is bittersweet. Julia is a Christian and is surrounded by a family of strong believers, and she’s responding really well to treatment (click here to check out her Caring Bridge site, and click here to donate).

But after hearing the news, last weekend was a hard one for me. We had no idea how Julia would respond to treatment, and diagnosis like this one was hard to swallow; it was so unexpected, she’s so young, etc. I spent the weekend reflecting on my own life, wondering if there was enough carpe diem going on. What was I wasting time on, what did I need to be spending more time on, was I doing what I wanted to do?

On Monday, February 1st, Julia’s mom posted a journal entry in which she highlights an encounter her husband had with another patient’s family member that led to Julia’s family praying for the man and his hospitalized father. Reading this, I was reminded of a professor’s lesson about kairos.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller


God is always at work, whether we recognize it or not. Instead of worrying about my own agenda and plans for my life and being nervous about not having enough carpe diem going on (what’s the next step for me professionally, when will I start dating my future husband, should I dye my hair red again [I did], to list a few), I needed to fix my focus wholly on Jesus.

Modern rhetorical definitions of kairos agree that knowledge, awareness, and action are key to making the most of a kairos moment or season.

If I am not in a living, breathing, growing relationship with Jesus, I will not recognize his voice or his hand at work. Over the past couple years I have often described my relationship with Christ as a partnership. The older I get, the more confident I am in this partnership, and the easier it is for me to trust that this human will never know the future but that she can walk boldly into it with Jesus as her fearless leader. A weekend of wallowing (accompanied by a day of rain and an oncoming cold) was but a momentary lapse, and the rest of my week was spent in prayer and reflection on this season I’m in and what journey God is leading me on.

Lately, I have felt an acceleration of moments, as if they’re swirling about me like leaves swirled around Pocahontas and her compass. I’m noticing more and more little and larger kairos moments happening. I feel as if I am heading into a kairos moment bigger than I’ve ever experienced before. It’s the anticipation that makes the pleasure, said the wrapper of a Dove’s dark chocolate candy once.

And so I end this post with the verse that’s been my heart song these past few years:

“Call me, says the Lord, and I’ll show you great and mighty things you have not yet seen.” – Jeremiah 33:3

A Prayer for Peace

From My Prayer Book:

O Father of all people and Ruler of nations, who would have all people dwell together in peace and unity, raise up, we ask You, leaders in every land who will choose peace instead of war and direct their people in pathways of friendship and understanding toward others.

Help us all in our respective places to seek justice, to cultivate righteousness, and to walk humbly before You. Remove all pride from our hearts. Give us understanding minds so that, regardless of race or nationality, color or station in life, we may realize that we are all of the same flesh and blood, Your common creation.

You have offered to all of us the Gospel of forgiveness and reconciling peace through the precious blood of Your dear Son. Grant us all the grace to accept Your terms of reconciliation, and let me, too, enjoy the forgiveness of all my sin. I ask You, because of Your pardon to us, to make us forgiving, thoughtful, and considerate of one another. Grant that we of this generation may live side by side in quietness and peace, recognizing that each one of us has rights and privileges given to us by You in Your goodness of heart.

Restrain the efforts of those who would sow seeds of hatred and ill will among nations. Bless all efforts for peace. Direct the course of this world that Your will may be done and Your kingdom come. Cause quiet and order to prevail everywhere, that the message of Your Gospel may without any obstacle or hindrance be carried to the far corners of the earth; for the sake of Him who died and rose again that we might live forever.