"This week we examined the potter's purpose for his or her clay and the importance of the clay staying mold-able throughout the shaping process." (Relfecting Him, page 18, italics mine)
Ouch. Obviously, I am the clay. What would happen if clay could somehow choose to become stone? If clay could (because the Creator gave it free will) choose to NOT be pliable?
It would NEVER become anything, let alone the unique piece of art it is supposed to become. So, you ask, how could I ever become unpliable? (All right, stop snickering).
Here comes my word-nerdiness: Pliable: Flexible. Elastic. Stretchable. Shapable. Moldable. Yielding. Willing. Compliant. Submissive. Obedient.
Ouch again. You see, if I, (the clay) cannot be these things, if I am unwilling to be flexible and stretchable and submissive (things that do NOT come easily), if I don't do that I am missing out on God's purpose for my life.
Stay with me here: "Sometimes during the pottery process, the wheel must be immobile to create exceptional character. Yet at other times the wheel must rotate quickly and with precision. The potter decides what to do, depending on each pot's purpose." (Reflecting Him, page 18, italics mine.)
So I have to ask myself if I am willing to be pliable. Am I consenting to be stretched to beyond what I think I can handle? Am I eager to let My Potter create what He wants? Am I content to relinquish all control? Am I willing to embrace Myasthenia Gravis as a "unique" quality of my pot? Am. I. Willing?
Oy. If you picture the wheel as the circumstances in our lives (as Carla McDougal suggests in her study), there are times when life seems to be standing still. Possibly even passing you by. I have been, and still am in such a place. I believe my wheel may be ever so slightly starting to turn again, but the stillness can be a painful place. Then we have the times when we feel like life is spinning out of control. Remember this:
(In the words of Cynthia Bonner, on the importance of centering the clay just perfectly, and the spinning of the wheel)
"This involves the potter's full concentration and requires the weight of the potter's arm muscles. At this point, if not properly centered, the lump of clay can go flying into orbit as the wheel launches into action.... The mass of clay is penetrated to create a V-shaped opening, and then the piece is formed by lifting the pot's walls. The potter must maintain a firm and steady upward movement by locking his hands together.... Even though the wheel aids in establishing symmetry and precision, every piece produced is unique and never exactly the same as the previous ones." (emphasis mine)
Wow. I'm telling you, friends, I have been on that wheel when the piercing and gutting began. I remember going through an 8 year diagnostic process. I remember wondering if I would live or die. What I sometimes forgot is that God had His hands on me the entire time. He doesn't push pause. He doesn't get up to go grab a snack and leave me spinning aimlessly. He lifts me. He molds me. He sculpts me. He never leaves me. He has His eye on me. He is making me His unique creation.
If clay could feel, do you think it would enjoy the process? Not always. But sometimes it must just think, "What a ride."