This week while on a trip with my daughter's school to Greenfield Village I learned an important lesson that God has been trying to teach me for most of my adult life. One of the stops during our trip to Greenfield Village was the Pottery Shop, and there we were given a brief tour of the shop as well as a demonstration of how pottery was actually made. I took a short video of this presentation, because while the potter was molding and shaping the clay God begin to speak to me about the merits of our my life and the lives of many others that he desire to fashion on the Potter's wheel. In this short video below we see the craftsman take a lump of clay and place it on the wheel and at the base of the wheel is a pedal that he turns and with his bare hands and minimal tools he begins shaping the lump of clay into a beautiful piece of art. In this particular demonstration the potter was shaping the clay into small sugar bowls that will eventually be used in one of the village's restaurants.
As we watched this potter fashioned this lump of clay I was reminded of how our lives are being fashioned and shaped by the hands of the "Master Craftsman." "The Potter" takes the lump of clay and knows very well how to mold it and shape into what He wants it to be. Watching the potter at Greenfield Village, he appeared to be an expert at what he does. He didn't have an instruction manual in front of him to guide him through the process of molding and shaping this clay. In fact, it looked almost as if it was second nature for him, because just as he was finishing up one bowl and setting it to the side, he was picking up another piece of clay to fashion it much in the same way as he did before. He took his time, but it didn't take long before that lump of clay began to take shape and look like something entirely different. And this is how God does with each and everyone of us. Our lives start out just like the lump of clay in the video, without shape or form, absent any purpose or meaning and then "The Potter" picks us up from the pile of obscurity and places us on His wheel. And, with patience and long-suffering He begins to fashion and mold the clay into His own masterful work of art.
The video here demonstrates the skillfulness and the technique of the potter as he forms the clay into something that now has purpose. And, such as it is with our lives in the hand of the Master Craftsman. Our lives, before Christ had no meaning, they were devoid of purpose, but once God placed us on His potter's wheel and began to work out the imperfections, and smooth out the rough spots in our lives when He was done our lives looked entirely different. "The Potter" with the touch of His own hands gave us our own unique purpose and destiny.
What I also noticed as I watched the potter in this video was the immense patience and the attention to detail that he had in fashioning and shaping the clay. Even though each bowl didn't take much time to complete, the potter didn't appear rushed to get the process over it with. And, again as we examine some of the characteristics of "The Potter," we cannot help but emphasize His immense patience and long suffering with us. The process of smoothing out the rough spots and continuing to go over those areas that seem to take longer than others to get exactly right. God has immense patience with us. He is not in a hurry or in a rush to get us off the wheel to get to someone else. But, with tender loving care He handles us and He caresses us. Another important quality of "The Potter" is his meticulous attention to detail. This is why our walk with God is not characterize as a sprint but rather it is a marathon. In fact, King Solomon declares in Ecclesiastes 9:11, "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong..." With this in mind, we cannot help but notice that this video is about 2 mins long. And, within a span of 2 mins, or 120 secs, the potter completed the first phase of forming and shaping a lump a clay into a beautiful sugar bowl. We see that while it did not appear that the potter was in an extreme hurry to get each pot done, he took his time and yet it still only took him approximately 2 mins on average to complete 1 pot. I wish to God that our lives on God's Potter's wheel was that simple. I wish that it took Him 2 mins to get us from one phase to the next, I wish we could go through rough patches of our life in just a short span of 2 mins. I wish that 2 mins was all it takes for us to surrender our will over to His. But, in reality the process takes much, much, much longer than that. What is shown throughout the process is God's immense patience, and our immense imperfections. However, God takes meticulous care with each and everyone of our imperfections. He is not satisfied until we come out looking exactly how He envisioned us when He first set down at "The Potter's Wheel."
I'm just amazed as at the patience and long suffering of "The Potter," because I know how He has worked and is still working on me. My turn on the wheel has not been pleasant, it has not been one glorious day after the other. There were some times where I wanted to get off of the wheel, because I became frustrated with "The Potter" and I thought I could do it better on my own. My pride and arrogance got in the way and almost cost me my turn on "The Potter's" wheel. But, I'm thankful, that just like the Prodigal Son, I came to myself before it was too late and realized that my life is better off in the hands of "The Potter" rather than it being in my own. It took a great deal of humility and contriteness to surrender my will over to His will. And, this is true for so many of us; who think we know just as much or even more than "The Potter" does, and because of this our time on the wheel is arduous and rough, and the process for us takes even longer because we end of fighting with "The Potter" on how we think we should be fashioned. Instead of just surrendering completely over to Him, and allowing Him to bring the best out of us, we are in a contentious and impetuous battle that will only end of doing us more harm than good. As I said in my Instagram post, that God definitely has the ability, and we absolutely have the potential which God saw from the very beginning. The question then becomes are we going to allow God to mold us into the Masterpiece He wants us to be. Are you willing to allow God to mold you into something beautiful? Are you willing to surrender your will over to God's will, because you realize that He know what's best for you? If all of these answers are yes, then your time on the wheel may not be easy, it definitely won't be comfortable, it may not even be bearable at times. But one things for sure, your life couldn't be in better hands.