Today's Reading: Jeremiah 18-22
Where I used to live, I had a friend who had a pottery studio.
Everytime I passed his shop, I'd drop in for a visit and to see just what he was creating that day. I loved to watch him shape the clay on the spinning wheel, drizzling water onto it, moving his hands up and down. After it would dry, he would paint it and then fire it in a kiln. His work was fabulous.
One day he asked me if I would like to try it. I sat at the wheel and clumsily tried to work the very stubborn clay. What came out of my efforts was a very misshaped mess.
He then took some clay from the plastic bag, placed it on the wheel and, with skillful hands, resumed shaping yet another pot. I wanted to watch the process from start to finish, so I pulled up a stool.
Round and round went the wheel. Up went the clay in the hands of the master, until what I thought was a perfect form was made. Suddenly, he violently smashed the clay with his strong hand. The force of the motion made me jump. But he just continued to work with the clay, reshaping it.
When I asked him what that was all about, he said, "You must shape the clay into the form you want it to take, but then you must completely smash it in order to make sure there are no weak points or air pockets which would cause it to explode in the heat of the kiln."
"Then," he said, "you reshape it into what you originally intended."
I thought about my life, in the hands of my Potter. There have been times when I thought everything was going along just as it should and then it seemed as if a giant hand smashed everything. It always puzzled me as I would slowly watch my life rebuild.
Now, I know.
God knows the heat of the kiln is very hot.
God does not want any weak areas or puffed up pockets, no matter how small, to shatter me, to explode me.
The smashing times are just as significant and important, if not more so, as the building up times.
I'm thankful for my potter friend and the lessons he has taught me.
"You are the Potter,
I am the Clay."