THE CLAY TOLD THE POTTER, “MAKE ME INTO…”
Two years ago I sat down once again to my piano bench. At age 54 I decided this time I would conquer this thing. I was going to play the piano beautifully even if I had to practice all day. I think I got to page 21 in my new piano lesson book, “Learning to play the piano for dummies.” I could play, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” quite eloquently. In fact it made my mom cry. After all those years of fighting with me to practice, I was finally sitting down to learn to play the piano when I was well past middle age. I think my downfall came when I became too boastful with my skills and decided to learn Chopin’s “Prelude in D” just so I could impress my grandson. I soon learned my problem was not in my desire. I had all the desire in the world to sit at a piano and produce beautiful music to echo off the ivories. I have an issue coordinating my left hand to play the bass clef and my right hand to play different keys and different tempos on the treble clef. My problem was I am the clay and I was trying to tell the Potter what I wanted to be molded into. I wanted to become a great concert pianist at age 54, or at the very least I would like to play, “O Come all Ye Faithful” at Christmas time with all my family coming around the piano and sing Christmas Carols while they ooh and ahh over my piano skills.
“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’ Isaiah 45:9
“O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.” Jeremiah 18:6
“And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
I don’t know why, but as I read these verses, I think of the green lump of clay some animator formed into a body and a television Claymation figure immersed. My generation knew him as Gumby. Gumby had a horse named Pokey. Pokey was fashioned from a brown lump of clay. Pokey and Gumby hit the airways in 1956 on the Howdy Doody Show. Do you think as that clay animator stared at that green rectangle shaped clay, he heard the clay speak to him? Did that green clay say, “Make me into a strange shaped clay boy?” No, Gumby was molded by Art Clokey. Gumby became Claymation because Art had an imagination that dreamed this strange green clay boy up.
“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, an the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7
I wanted to play the piano like a concert pianist. I want to make beautiful music unto the Lord, but for the life of me I can’t sing in key or play in key. My musical abilities are like the broken C key on my piano keyboard that just sticks there and the only sound emanating from the broken key makes a flat hollow sound. So I come to a different keyboard, my computer keyboard, and I start writing and reflecting on certain passages of scripture, and when I don’t see how the Potter can possibly mold this brokenness into a decorative vessel, I begin to write and see the jar He is molding me into.
“But who are you, a human being to talk back to God? ‘Shall what is formed say to the one who formed, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” Romans 9:20-21
Every single one of us are created by a Master Artist. We are a lump of clay thrown onto the Potter’s Wheel. From His imagination we are formed into some type of pottery. Some of us are created to plant flowers in, some are made to pour water into, and some are used in ordinary everyday life. I don’t know your shape. I can’t concentrate or worry about what you will become. I have to concentrate on what the Potter is creating me to be. I must stay pliable moldable clay. The Potter’s hands will get messy as He turns this clay on His wheel. He will have to use water to keep this clay moldable. I am not finished yet. I am a work in progress. We will see what I will become. However, it’s a pretty safe bet you won’t see me on the concert tour.
The day Jesus turned the water into wine; He saw six stone jars just sitting randomly off to the side. They weren’t being used at this time. They were placed there for ceremonial cleansing according to the religious practices at the time. Did those inanimate stone vessels expect to be used to bless this wedding that day? No, as I said they are inanimate. We are like those stone pots. Jesus wants to use us. He wants to pour into us so that we can become a blessing to those around us. We just have to be made available to Jesus.
The other day my grandson gave my daughter a flowerpot that he decorated for Mother’s Day. He was telling me about a mishap that occurred. One of his friend’s clay pots broke as she was giving it to her mother and the dirt and the flower planted in the pot spilled all over the carpet. He said his friend was sad.
I feel like that has happened to me upon multiple occasions in my spiritual walk with the Lord. Winds and storms come and my clay pot filled with beautiful colorful flowers torpedoes off my porch and the ground of is littered with brokenness and dirt. Did I mention that at times as the Potter is fashioning a clay vessel he must pound the clay down as he twirls it around on His wheel? As the Potter is molding the pot sometimes the pot has cracks in it. The Potter then beats the clay down so that He can reshape the vessel. Like I said, I must focus on becoming a moldable pliable vessel in the Potter’s Hand.