Monday, January 20, 2014

the potter & the clay


part of isaiah 45:9 says "does the clay say to the potter 'what are you making?'" i love this verse. for better or worse i have always been the type of person who likes to see people get put in their place. more so when it is not me, and i think someone needs to be brought down a peg or two, but anyway, i think this verse [and many others] do just that. they put us in our place.

it's kind of like that snide little all-too-true remark that hits at just the right spot. "um, excuse me, does the clay talk? no? i didn't think so. and you're not the potter are you? huh, funny how that works…" okay, maybe i'm the only one who hears it that way, but most of the time it's because i need to hear it that way.

how many of us don't struggle with pride? with wanting to be in control? i struggle daily with these things. day in and day out i have to remind myself that life does not revolve around me. i am not the hero of the story. that part has already been cast, and it has already been played. and played infinitely better than the mess i would have made of it. 

sometimes i catch myself getting lost in the individualistic american dream. and i keep trying to find a way to reconcile it to what God wants for me. but if i'm being honest that can't really happen. the american dream puts all the marbles on being happy. by and large we think that being rich and having the best cars, and the best house, and being in love all the time will make us happy, but that is simply the clay telling the potter how it'll work best.

God tells us to love him with all of our selves, and to love our neighbors. the american dream puts me ahead of everyone else. it says you must sacrifice everything and everyone to get ahead for yourself. God's plan flips that paradigm upside-down. he says it's not about my comfort, or my house, or my car, or anything else except what he wants for me. 

i may sit on my haunches all day declaring to the maker that i'm a coffee mug, or a flower vase, but if he made me to be a wash basin it's going to be tough for anyone to drink coffee out of me, or stick flowers in me.

part of the american dream says that we all want to be somebody. we all want to matter. and usually we don't think of living a quiet life striving hard after God as a life that "matters." but "mattering" in the world's sense is entirely different from mattering to God. he created each one of us. he knit me together in my mother's womb. he knows me better than i know myself because he created every fiber of my being.

a wash basin works best when it's used for the purpose it was created - to wash. all too often i find myself questioning God because i think he doesn't know what matters, and he doesn't know what he's doing. all too often, i am the clay asking the potter what the heck he's doing.

and then he reminds me that he is in control. he is the creator, i am the created. and i function best when i'm on his side, and doing his work.


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