When I was a pre-teen, I was introduced to ceramics. My sister-in-law’s mother had a ceramics shop in her garage with a kiln, and every so often, she would let me and Vivian (my sister-in-law’s sister) do ceramics. One of the things we did was pour liquid into a form, let it set, then remove the mold, scrape off the seams, then it would be dried in the kiln. After the drying, we could paint it however we wished. And it was fun! Vivian and I could pick the same exact object, and it would be unique only due to how we chose to paint our same exact object… On the other hand, pottery is hand formed from a lump of clay, on a potter’s wheel. The value of piece of pottery depends on the skill of the potter.
This comparison hit me while I was driving down the road.
How often as a Christian, do we consider ourselves “ceramic.” You’re a bowl, I’m a bowl, he’s a bowl, she’s a bowl… we are just decorated differently. But I think that we would be better served to think of ourselves as pottery. Each one of us hand crafted with love and great skill by the Master Potter. My value has nothing to do with your value. Your value has nothing to do with mine. Our value is solely dependent on the One who made us, and the fulfilling of the task we were created for.
Isaiah 64:8 (KJV) “But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter, and we all are the work of thy hand.”
Sometimes I find myself looking around at my co-workers. I am so blessed to be surrounded by amazing nurses. Sometimes I find myself feeling bad that I can’t contribute what someone else does, and in the mentality of “I’m a ceramic mold” I find myself down and doubting my vocation. When I remember that I am “pottery” I am able to place into perspective my calling, and just DO what I’m able to do. My part is valuable. Your part is valuable.
This realization of being pottery should also affect how I judge another. I cannot hold someone to MY gifts and abilities, we are not poured out of the same mold. We are each uniquely designed for God’s purposes. Each one of us needs to be concerned with our own relationship with the potter and the tasks He has created for us specifically to fulfill.
The box came yesterday. She carefully pulled everything out. She rinsed the containers and labeled them. She calculated her caloric intake and was surprised by how much she would be eating. She read the instructions. How am I going to work out EVERY day? She wondered. I’ll try. She decided.
She then went to a birthday party and gave herself permission to eat cake. Tomorrow would start “the Fix.” She felt positive about it all, and set her alarm for 6:30am.
When the alarm sounded at 6:30am, she turned it off. At 7:00am she rose, made her coffee and debated. Should I lay in bed and check messages while my coffee brews, or pop in the DVD of the day? She looked. It was Cardio Fix. She chose bed and messages.
When her coffee was done, she poured herself a cup and went into her office to read her Bible, as was her habit. Why was it so easy to keep some habits up, but so difficult to keep/establish others?
Proverbs 13:4 (KJV) “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.”
I’m tired of being a sluggard, she thought.
Proverbs 13:19 (KJV) “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.”
Hmm. Diligence=healthy soul.
Redefine “fat” and “sweets.”
This is my goal, she thought, Strong body, fat soul.
She walked to the closet and put her gym clothes on.