While taking some college courses my granddaughter, Shannon, was trying to decide whether to enroll in a sculpting class, or a pottery-making class.
She watched a student sculpt a bust from dry epoxy mix, and was intrigued as the sculpted face slowly came into focus. Because both classes were taught at the same time and day, Shannon decided to take the pottery class the first sememter, and the sculpture class in the second sememster.
One day I asked her, “Do you have an idea in mind before you begin each piece, or do you just work with the clay as you go along?”
She said, “I do know what I want to create, whether it’s a coffee mug for my dad, or a cereal bowl, a dish, or a vase. I chose to make pottery so I could hold my artwork in my hands. First, I choose the right amount of clay needed for the project. I form it roughly in my hands, then place the clay carefully on the concentric lines in the center of the pottery wheel – trying for a perfect balance.”
Shannon went on to say that in order to have that balance, she needed to stay focused on the project, and never let her mind or eyes wander. Perfect balance was not easy to achieve.
I asked, “What would happen if the clay wasn’t centered?”
“The project would be lopsided and wobbly, instead of straight and level.” She replied.
“Then what would you do?”
Her answer was simple: “I would take the clay off the wheel, smash it, remold it in my hands, then place it on the wheel again, and try to create my beautiful project.”
I thought that was perhaps how the LORD responds to us when our life is a mess, and we come to him. He takes us in His loving arms, and once again places us as the “clay” on the center of His wheel – for perfect balance. Shannon had said that she had not achieved the level of a potter who merchandized their wares in matching sets – that had not been her goal. She wanted to create individual works of art that were unique. That is how GOD created us – each
one different and unique, and not from “cookie-cutter” molds. Each human is made in the image of Almighty GOD. He is the “potter,” we are His “clay.”
I have seen and used several pieces of Shannon’s pottery, but my favorite is the 14” prize- winning vase with a whimsical elephant crafted on the side. While thinking about Shannon’s working with her clay, and the firing of her art in the kiln to preserve it, an old hymn came to my mind:
‘Have Thine Own Way, Lord”
Mucic by George C. Stebbins. Text by Adelaide A. Pollard. “Have Thine own way, Lord!
Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will
While I am waiting, yielded and still.”
The apostle Paul, writing in Second Corinthians, clarly states in chapter four verses six and seven, what we as clay vessels have within us: “For GOD, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of GOD in the face of JESUS CHRIST. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of GOD, and not of us.” (KJV) GOD has chosen us, as His human vessels, to shine the light of the glorious gospel of JESUS CHRIST to those who have not yet met the Potter.