When I was heading to my conference last Tuesday, I chose not to listen to the radio in the car. I just wanted the silence to clear my head and to focus. This seems to happen a lot lately – I just need to shut out the world and breathe. As I was driving I kept thinking about a pottery piece I had seen (should have bought it because now it will be on my mind – lol). I am not even sure what made it come to mind probably delusional from the lack of sleep -lol). I thought of that very romantic scene in the movie Ghost with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore as she tries over and over again to form her beautiful pottery. How it takes patience and the gentlest of touch to make even one unique piece from a blob of clay.
In summary from what I have now read to create a unique piece you 1. take the clay (product of decomposed rock) that has been mixed with additives so it can be molded into a beautiful creation by hand (some pieces are poured into molds so multiple pieces can be created – this is not the type I am thinking of). 2. Once created into has to be fired into high enough temperatures to harden the piece, and 3. then a glaze is added to enable it to hold water.
I truly believe each person is a vessel that has been beautifully created just as Christ wants us to be. Some are short round clay vessels and some are tall slender clay vases. It is hard some days to look in the mirror and say “God, thank you for the beautiful person You have created!”. Some days, I don’t even want to look in the mirror. I see all the flaws and complain – my hair is getting gray, I don’t like how the shirt fits, I have a pimple, etc. The problem is I look only skin deep and not what the vessel holds. Not everyone can say their vessel holds a good heart. Some people are mean and say hurtful things. I think of the children that have bullied or have been mean to our children – some of them are attractive on the outside, but their vessel holds an ugly heart. I think I need to say every morning – THANK YOU LORD for creating me, for giving me extra layers to protect my skinny body (LOL), and thank you for giving me a good heart! I need to look in the mirror with Christ’s eyes and NOT mine!!! *** Of note, I know that I also do not always take care of the vessel He has created and I need to do a little (really a lot) better at that.
I also believe that I have been through many fires in my life. I sit back sometimes and truly wonder how much He thinks I can handle. But to have a beautiful piece of pottery it has to go through high temperatures. I am thinking I have personally been re-fired many times. But those firings have made me who I am. I will be honest when I am going through the fire, I am not always grateful. I am usually complaining it is too hot, I am not strong enough to handle it, it isn’t fair, etc… Sometimes I think some of the fires have caused third degree burns on my heart. But I look back at some of the fires and see He brought me through and what I became as a result of it. I would not be who I am today without the firing process and I would not be equipped to handle the things He has in plans for me without them. What an amazing place it would be in life to say “Lord, whatever fire you take me through to strengthen me, your vessel, may I come through with your strength.” *** Of note, I am not there yet, but definitely a place to be where I could say “Lord, Bring it! With your strength I can do it!”
The glazing process occurs in life too. But, I think I have let the “water-proofing” to be a little too thick / too thin by convenience. I hold onto things that I should let go and let other things go that I should hold onto. How many times has a great thing been done for me by my children or husband and instead of holding onto that in my heart, I remember the time they didn’t do something for me? It goes back to I Corinthians 13 where Christ states Love keeps no record of wrong. That is so against human nature. For instance, instead of being grateful for finally getting a dishwasher (and Jim making a sacrifice to get it), I tend to think about the 2 years I went without it when I am upset about something else. I think about my relationship with Mary. We have some really great moments when I think I am doing okay as a mom, and then one argument and all those great moments are let go of and I hold onto the argument. It happens at work, I get a praise note and am thankful to be recognized and then I get an email that questions something I have done and out the window goes the phrase. So what happens is my heart / head gets filled with all the negative and then it builds up and eventually cracks my heart. What an amazing place it would be to let the negative pour out and store up the things good for my heart, soul, and mind. I control what I hold onto in my heart and mind. *** Of note, I have a long way to go here, but definitely a place to be – in a state of forgiveness and forgetting!
I need to prepare to be MOLDED. I need to step out of the way so The Potter can continue to mold me, put me through fires, and stop holding in the painful things that just crack me! He has gentle, loving, patient hands and His works are much greater than anything I could form on my own!
And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. Isaiah 64:8 (NLT)