Broken Clocks

“[There’s a story] of a man who used to go to work at a factory and every day would stop outside a clockmaker’s store to synchronize his watch with the clock outside. At the end of several days the clockmaker stopped him and said, “Excuse me, sir, I do have a question for you. I see that every day you stop and adjust your watch with my clock. What kind of work do you do?”

The man said, “I’m embarrassed to tell you this; I keep the time at the factory nearby, and I have to ring the bell at four o clock every afternoon when it is time for the people to go home. My watch doesn’t work very well, so I synchronize it with your clock.”

The clockmaker says, “I’ve got bad news for you. My clock doesn’t work very well either, so I synchronize it with the bell that I hear from the factory at 4:00 every afternoon.”

If you’ll pardon the grammar, what happens when two wrong watches correct themselves by each other? They will get wronger and wronger all the time. Even a clock that doesn’t work may show you the right time twice a day…but it’s not because it’s keeping time!”

Excerpted from Ravi Zacharias, Address to the United Nations’ Prayer Breakfast.