Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pottery and God

I am not a master potter, but I have learned a lot of things from my experience with working clay.  Jeremiah spoke of clay in the hands of the potter. Jeremiah 18:4-6.  It might seem that we are just lumps of clay and God will make us into whatever he desires.  But my experience has been that the clay has something to say about it, too.  The clay has to be wedged and pounded in preparation.  It might be a small lump or a large lump.  I can’t make a big bowl out of a small lump, nor a small bowl out of a big lump.  The moisture consistency has a lot to do with how easily the clay is worked.  Sometimes the clay has to be thrown back into the tub of water to be broken down and start over.

There have been times when I have wanted to make a bottle, but the clay would not cooperate and it ended up as a small bowl.  Sometimes I have just given up making something on the wheel and resorted to rolling out the slab to make something that way.  The clay, and often my own hands, would not cooperate any other way.  But the result has often been some of the most fascinating pieces, even though different from what I thought I wanted to make.  With God there are no failures or useless pieces.

There are also several different types of clay.  Some are smooth, some are grainy, they come in different colors, and they fuse at different temperatures.  Besides the differences in the clay material, there are different glazes, too.  Not only is it true that the materials are different from each other, it is almost impossible to make any two pieces exactly alike.  Just like people.

Does God get frustrated with us as lumps of clay?  Would he try to make us into things that we are not wanting to become?  He is a master potter, and he knows how to work with each type of clay, and with each individual lump of clay.  My role as the lump of clay is to not resist, but to be willing to become the vessel that God wants to make me.  

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