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Intersection of Life and Faith

Abba’s Wrist-Watch

  • Will Bannister Contributing Writer
  • 2005 5 Aug
Abba’s Wrist-Watch

It’s time to wrestle with time. Or it is for me, at least.

As any theologians worth their salt will tell you (St. Augustine, C.S. Lewis--—we’ll get to Tom Petty later), God exists outside of our space-time continuum. In other words, God’s calendar is different from ours—it’s non-linear and wacky. And it doesn’t always jibe with the tick-tock of our espresso society.

I know that that sounds as pretentious as heck (or Hades, if you prefer), but it’s a yummy concept—albeit easier to swallow in theory than to stomach in reality.


So, here we are, neo-Christians in the land of milk and honey and Hollywood. That’s right. We’re Bible junkies living in a global community. We’ve got Starbucks and cyberspace and probably way too much time on our hands if we’re talking about time.

Yet here we are, talking about the rather eccentric warp that is Abba’s clock—or wrist-watch, rather. Suffice it to say, it’s not some Mickey Mouse machine with an endless supply of wanderlust (for the record, I’ve never, ever left a watch in my life—they all leave me), or which freaks out in the stratosphere or stops ticking in a subway. Nope - Abba’s watch is different than that. It’s quite unique—it’s a watch full of love and wisdom, and it has a tick-tock all it’s own.

Yet we’re not always in sync with it. In fact, more often than not we’re not in sync with it. It can seem rather capricious and arbitrary to us Christian mammals—even for those of us who aspire to be prayer warriors and/or read the Bible for breakfast.

It’s true, isn’t it? Sometimes the more Scripture savvy we are (and the more that we’re cursed with this blessing of thought), then the crazier this time conundrum seems -especially in terms of one’s calling in life, and especially in terms of our response to that calling.

Another amen?

Case in point. David was just shy of 17-years old when he slew that mammoth ogre with a slingshot, yet Abraham’s bones were brittle when God called him. He was an old, tough patriarch. And Enoch was even older when he started walking with the Lord – while Timothy was just a young, shy buck.

Oh, and then there’s Jeremiah, whom God called- before his umbilical chord was cut, yet who wasn’t informed about this until after he could shave.

And let’s not forget Hannah, who prayed and prayed and prayed for a son until a sleepy priest told her to shut up and go home. And we’ll pray for you.


Yes, all of these true stories have yummy outcomes—yet sometimes that doesn’t salve our immediate situation. We want answers now. Some of us have prayed for thousands of miles. Our hands are bloody from knocking on His door. Yet we keep knocking.

And here’s why: because deep down we know that Abba’s wrist-watch is totally sensitive to our prayers—entirely sensitive to our innermost needs and desires.

Which brings me to the self-indulgent portion of this essay (if you thought that you were already reading it, then you were oh, so mistaken); namely, how do I fathom God’s plan for my own life? How can I figure out the rhythms of Abba’s wrist-watch in terms of my own calling?

Unfortunately, it takes a bit of wrestling (as you well know). I wish I knew more about it. I’m just a singer-songwriter from Texas who moved Nashville—a town full of 10,000 prima donnas – with a guitar and big dreams.

Anyway, to be honest, it’s not going at all like I had planned or prayed for. By now I thought that I’d be opening up for U2 (I told you I had big dreams)—or at least Cheap Trick’s reunion tour. Yet I’m still playing my guitar at the same joints and dives that I used to, waiting for that A&R rep with the Cuban cigar to jump through the window and scream “You’re amazing! Please sign on the dotted line!”

Yes, I know. I had lofty dreams—megalomaniac-ish? I suppose. But you know what? God blessed me anyway, big time. He’s showered me with tons of spiritual blessings – not the least of which is a gorgeous goddess of a fiancé (who plays Scrabble, to boot) – a soul mate and best friend that Adam himself couldn’t dream up. Vegas, here we come!

I am truly blessed. Oh, and I’m also blessed with a charming lil’ church and a few good friends to die for—literally. That said, I’m still trying to figure out my own niche in the Kingdom. I want to be in the swirl of God’s plan for my life. And God is faithful—He's showing me the ministry.

It’s so, so easy (I’ve done it before, lots of times) to lapse into a lazy mindset that God’s clock is some cold, clinical mechanism somewhere out in cyberspace, wound up by a Deity who is distant and aloof, rather than a wrist-watch that’s wrapped close to a nail-driven hand full of sweat and blood—a watch full of wisdom and tough love. Yet that’s what it is.

In short, I’m learning to respect the rhythms of Abba’s wrist-watch—a lifetime venture, no less.

That’s what Jesus was an expert in. And I want to be like that. I want to hear the tick-tock of heaven’s clock, rather than some Mickey Mouse thing that I picked up at Wal-Mart. I want to be on time on earth as it is in heaven.

So, as I write this in a local coffee shop, that great theologian, Tom Petty is singing with his Dylan-esque drawl…“…the waiting is the hardest part.”

Thanks, Tom. You just finished this essay for me.

It’s true. God is faithful—yet sometimes it’s the waiting that’s the hardest part.

Will Banister is a singer-songwriter living in Nashville, TN. His debut E.P. "Faith and a Slingshot" is available on