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Matthew 6:25-34

The Clock that had a Nervous Breakdown

In his sermon entitled “How to Worry” Ralph Phelps tells about the clock that had a nervous breakdown. This new clock was ticking away on the shelf two ticks to the second as any good, self-respecting clock should tick when it began to think about how many times it was going to have to tick. “Two ticks to the second means 120 ticks per minute,” it mused. “That’s 7200 ticks per hour, 172,800 ticks per day, 1,209,600 per week for 52 weeks, and a total of 62,899,200 per year.” Horrors! Straightway the clock had a nervous breakdown.

The clock was taken to a psychiatrist who patched up the mainspring as well as he could then asked, “Clock, what’s your trouble?” “Oh, doctor,” wailed the clock, “I have to tick so much. I have to tick two ticks a second and 120 ticks per minute and 7200 ticks per hour, and.” “Hold it,” the psychiatrist cut in, “How many ticks do you have to tick at a time?” “Oh, I just have to tick one tick at a time,” was the reply. “Then let me make a suggestion,” replied the doctor. “You go home and try ticking one tick at a time. Don’t even think about the next tick until it’s time. Just tick one tick at a time. That you can do.”

Faith is ticking one tick at a time. Knowing that God will give us strength for the next tick. According to I Peter 1:8 we can have a “joy inexpressible.” Yet just like those oppressed and persecuted Christians to whom Peter was writing, we need to remember that this joy will never come through external stimuli, only through our internal mindset—one of faith—one of ticking one tick at a time, knowing that God will give us strength for the next tick.

John Scott

Swindoll, You and Your Problems


1. Worry ignores the logic of life (v. 25)

2. Worry ignores the value of life (v. 26)

3. Worry ignores its own limitations (v. 27)

4. Worry ignores God’s faithfulness (vv. 28-30)

5. Worry ignores the love of God (vv. 31-33)

6. Worry ignores the present (v. 34)

Today in the Word, July, 1990, p. 33

The Bird’s Nest

A construction crew was building a new road through a rural area, knocking down trees as it progressed. A superintendent noticed that one tree had a nest of birds who couldn’t yet fly and he marked the tree so that it would not be cut down. Several weeks later the superintendent came back to the tree. He got into a bucket truck and was lifted up so that he could peer into the nest. The fledglings were gone. They had obviously learned to fly. The superintendent ordered the tree cut down. As the tree crashed to the ground, the nest fell clear and some of the material that the birds had gathered to make the nest was scattered about. Part of it was a scrap torn from a Sunday school pamphlet. On the scrap of paper were these words: He careth for you.

Bits and Pieces, November, 1989, p. 23

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