During the summer before my senior year in high school, I went on a four day overnight retreat called Kairos. When I was boarding the bus that would take us to the retreat center, I honestly did not know what to expect–but I’m glad that I didn’t. Because I entered the retreat with no preconceived ideas or expectations, I believe I was really able to feel the full impact of the retreat and get the most out of it. In fact, I was so moved by everything that I had experience during those four days that I decided to dedicate a large portion of my senior year to helping prepare and lead other Kairos retreats.

One phrase that is closely associated with Kairos is “Live the Fourth.” As one can see from the structure of the phrase, it is a command; but a command to do what exactly? Well, due to the (very necessary!) secretive nature of Kairos, I can’t really say. Sorry.

But what I can say is that this phrase has a general meaning that holds true for everyone, but also a specific meaning unique to each individual person. However, the creation of these two meanings from one phrase is only possible due to the utilization of “the Fourth,” a very general word that can stand for a plethora of things, in the phrase rather than something more explicit. But I believe that the fact that the structure of this phrase allows for different meanings to coexist is what makes the phrase all the more beautiful.

I have a very similar cross to the one above and it serves as my personal reminder to “Live the Fourth.”

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