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Casio Christians

27/01/2012

I’m a great fan of Casio watches, – the cheaper the better! Now don’t get me wrong, for I have a lovely gold watch which was presented to me on the occasion of my departure from a particular church. But for every day use, the cheap, digital Casio watch is hard to beat. And they certainly are value for money. The first one that I bought was from a shop in Lisburn, and it was at least twenty years ago. I’d seen the watch in the shop window, and had decided that I wasn’t going to spend lots of money on a watch again. The watch was £5.99, and my love affair with Casio began. That watch lasted around two years when the strap fell apart and I needed another new watch. But I reckoned that £3 a year for accurate timekeeping was a fair price. I went back for another. This time the watch was £7.99. The shop assistant got the watch out of the display cabinet for me, and asked me if I’d like a three year guarantee. “How much?” I asked. “£3.99.” “Does it cover the strap?” was my next question. When she replied that it did not, I told her there was no point, for the strap would fall apart long before the watch stopped working. It did. But still, I’ve stayed with the Casio watch ever since.

Apart from the price of course, it’s prime attraction lies in its durability. Despite the minimal cost the Casio watch just keeps on ticking. (Metaphorically speaking – since it doesn’t actually make a sound). I’ve worn them twenty four hours a day, seven days a week for years on end. I rarely take them off. I wear them in bed and in the bath and in the shower. I’ve seen them covered in oil and ink, banged with hammers and scrapped against rough surfaces.

A few years ago, one of them fell off my arm as I scrambled through the hedge at the back of the Manse in Belfast. There was an old abandoned railway track at the rear of the house, – a great place to walk the dog, – but to access it meant a struggle through a small gap in the hedge and a perilous run down a steep bank. Add to those difficulties an over-excited labrador, pulling on his lead, and you can see how a watch might easily be torn from the arm. Despite my spending a good half hour searching among the mud and ferns for the Casio watch, I never found it.

Around a year later, after a summer of floods and a winter of rain and snow, I happened to be clambering through the hole in the hedge. Somewhere in the undergrowth, I heard the distinct sound of a Casio watch, chiming the hour, right on time! I still couldn’t find it, but I’d be prepared to believe that some five years later, that watch is still there, still buried in leaves and dirt, and still keeping the time.

Durability – that’s the key! In Hebrews, the author speaks a lot about durability, about going on, despite the dangers and the condition in which we live. The Hebrew Christians were facing persecution, and some of them were tempted to return to their former religion, perhaps thinking that it would offer them some protection or solace. The author wrote to remind them that whatever they had before, what they have now, in the Lord Jesus Christ, is far better than anything else, and that real Christians, people who are truly converted, will persevere, right to the end of the journey.

He writes in chapter 12:1-3, Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Christians are to be like Casio watches. Even if we are dropped in the filth by modern society, if the straps that attach us to this world are removed, if we are used and abused by life’s trials, whatever happens, we are to keep on going, measuring our days, being accurate in our witness and consistent in our lives, living for the Lord, with His help and by His Grace, right to the very end of life.

Oh, and even as I write, I’m still wearing a Casio watch – my tenth, I think!

From → Encouragement

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