Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What Broken Dreams do You Have in Storage?

Yesterday morning, after a 45 year delay, I received my high school graduation present in the mail. In 1969 as graduation approached, my father, after some negotiation, agreed to buy me a watch as a graduation present. What I really wanted was a car. That wasn’t happening. My parents wouldn’t even let me buy a car with my own money, but that is another story. I asked for an Omega chronograph that cost around $200. What I received was a Wittnauer chronograph that cost around $100. I was disappointed, but not surprised. It was still a pretty cool looking watch, the type used by rally drivers and fighter pilots. After a few months the stopwatch function quit working. My father took it back for repairs. It worked for another few months then quit. When I asked my father to get it repaired a second time, he told me, “Repair it yourself.” I expect the first repair was under warranty. I expect the second repair would not have been under warranty. Since I couldn’t afford to repair the watch I put it away.

When we moved to South Carolina the watch resurfaced. Wondering if it could be repaired after 45 years, I took it to a local jeweler. He sent it to his watchmaker for an estimate. After a month it returned. The watchmaker told us that there were no longer any parts available for that watch.

That didn’t sound right to me. Longiens Wittnauer is a well known company that is still in existence. I mailed it to the watchmaker in Maryland who repaired my father in law’s 63 year old Hamilton watch. He had a fit over my watch. He practically begged me for an opportunity to repair such an extraordinary piece. He also noted that the first man who repaired the watch did a very poor job. The scars of his bad workmanship were clearly visible. It was obvious he didn’t have the right tools for the job. He estimated $500 to completely rebuild and restore the watch to like new condition, complete with a genuine lizard watch band, just as it came out of the box 45 years ago. I agreed but warned him not to go over $500.

Yesterday, I received the watch. It looks brand new and works perfectly. It is so nice I am afraid to wear it. I didn’t know what I had. I learned that this watch in this condition has a wholesale value around $1,100 to $1,300 and a retail value of somewhere around $1,800 to $2,000. I also learned that just like the good Lord makes people, you can’t tell what is in the watch by looking at the case. Manual chronographs consist of two watch movements stuffed into one case. This one consists of something called a Caliber 330 Longiens movement. The watchmaker thought this a historically significant, especially cool movement. The second part of the watch is called a Valjous 726 Base. The watchmaker considered that a fine product of the Swiss watchmaker’s art, but he didn’t go into orbit over that movement. I read up on both parts of my watch on the Internet. Some consider the Valjous 726 Base the best manual chronograph movement ever made. It is the same movement that was used in Rolex chronographs of the period as well as many other brands that sold at a higher price than Wittnauer. At the time Wittnauer was consider sort of like a Buick when compared to the Cadillac, Lincoln, and Roll Royce watches of the day.

I’ll bet you can guess where I am going with this story. What broken dream have you put into storage? For 45 years I lived with Timex and similar products. They work for 3 to 7 years. Since they cost somewhere around $35 when new, you throw them away when they quit working. Living a Timex life is OK, but do you dream of something better?

Go ahead. Take that broken gift or talent out of storage. Revaluate what you actually have been given. Perhaps when you were first learning to use your God given abilities as a child you failed at some effort. Then perhaps a ham handed teacher with the wrong tools left you with scars. It may not be cheap to repair the damage of a lifetime, but with the help of your friends and perhaps a little professional guidance along the way, you may discover what the Lord placed in your case is the same movement used by Rolex and other high quality brands.

If the first repairman tells you there aren’t any parts still available for someone your age, it may be the truth; but if something doesn’t sound right; if there is still a fire burning in your soul get a second opinion.

I would love to see you live a Rolex life.

I am not talking about filling your life with expensive toys. My prayer is that God will fulfill the deep desires and dreams that He placed in your soul.

Psalm 16:11

You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

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