“I want to know why life isn’t fair?” I asked the man in my dream. I’ve had such odd dreams lately about the deepest topics.
“What if God is like a clockmaker?” he asked.
Watches, cuckoo clocks, compasses, pendulums, and grandfather clocks all ticked around him, making syncopated rhythms that practically awakened my soul.
“Why am I here?”
“You’re running out of time, and you want more of it,” he said.
“But that’s not why I’m here.”
“Well, isn’t that why you think life is unfair?”
I paused for a moment. “I guess that’s part of it. I would like to know why some people get sick and die while other people stay healthy and live long lives.” I paused and thought about how hard life can be. “I think people talk about Heaven, saying there’s no pain in the afterlife because they’re so tired of the pain on Earth.”
He didn’t respond for a while and instead continued inspecting a gear in front of him.
“Clocks run for however long they’re supposed to. Do you disagree?”
I thought about it. “I think that’s generally true.”
“Maybe a clock is caught in a house fire or an earthquake. A watch could be left out in the rain, even if it’s not weatherproof. The clock might get cracked or overly worn with time. Maybe the thing lasts and lasts much longer than expected. But the point is that at some point, the clock will stop.”
“When it’s run its course,” he went on, “only a fool would blame the clockmaker—because it wasn’t made to last forever.”
“So, we’re all like clocks?” I asked him, knowing what he would say but still finding beauty in his analogy. There he sat, surrounded by hundreds of clocks I knew he’d made, and I couldn’t wait to hear his reply.
“I wish people would stop blaming God for hardships,” he said. “People should be grateful that they even get to live—God wound your clock—but death was just part of the bargain.”
“What about sickness? And pain? They can make life feel pretty unfair.”
“The world is filled with so many terrible variables.” He picked up a tiny hammer and knocked a gear into place. “But if something ‘bad’ does happen,” he hit it again, “it can usually look good with a change of perspective. Even a crack in a clock’s face can look like a rainbow when turned in the right light. That’s what people should look for: rainbows. Sometimes even the biggest imperfections can make life beautiful.”
And as I thought more about his words, the scene began to fade. “We can always find the good,” I heard the clockmaker’s voice fading away, “if we take the time to look for it... Always.”
I woke up to my alarm this morning and had to smile. I’ve decided that life can be hard, but even if I see a crack in my clockface today, I’ll look at it from a different angle and try to find the rainbow.