The Potter Or the Clay- Creation
There have been many sermons preached using the subject of the potter and the clay. The book of Jeremiah, in the Bible gives a depiction, as well do various other books in scripture. The process of pottery is a tedious and multi-step process that requires patience and diligence. Pottery is made by forming a clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln which removes all the water from the clay, which induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape. It requires a careful balance between water and dirt. Too much of one, not enough of the other and you cannot produce a sustainable product. After the right amount of dirt and water is mixed, the right amounts of clay must be kneaded with the hands to incorporate or infuse the ingredients. The purpose of kneading is to remove air bubbles and to smooth out the grit within the clay. During the kneading process the clay is handled roughly by the potter as she works out the impurities in it. At first the clay itself is abrasive and unresponsive but the more time the potter spends kneading it the more elastic and pliable it becomes. It is interesting to note that the more resistance there is in the clay the more apt it is to collapse during the process of molding. In other words, in order for there to be a sustainable product, the clay must be free of any resistance. Any “impurities” or “lumps” that interrupt the flow of smooth turning of the clay on the wheel and it will crumble OR produce an unwanted product. There are other steps to this process but the point is, it’s not an overnight creation. It takes time, practice, patience, and concentrated focus.
Would you like instant manifestation in your life?
Do you think the potter, if possible, would choose to snap his fingers and BAM instantly create the finished product? Would he, if given the power and opportunity, skip the creative process and go straight to the manifestation? And if so, what would be lost? What would be the cost of skipping the journey? I’m reminded of the TV sitcoms Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie I watched as a child, where the main characters, with a twitch of the nose or blink of an eye, instantly could grant wishes and desires. Often times their “masters” would not desire the instantaneous manifestations but rather wanted to go through the processes of attaining what they wanted. If you had your very own personal genie what would you instantly wish for? Millions of dollars? The vehicle of your dreams? Vacation homes? In our early stages of development of course we desire material things like these mentioned, but as we grow and mature, we come to realize it’s not the object that we desire per se, but rather the feeling that we experience from acquiring the object. We think we would feel better in the attainment of the Rolls Royce, or the acres of land, or the whatever. And certainly we do feel so good, so wonderful… for a little while, until the newness wears off or until we realize we want something else, etc. It is the feeling we’re searching for, not the material object! No acquisition of anything or any person can ever give us what we’re truly searching for.
So often we want our desires to manifest now, we want what we want and we want it to present itself instantly. But when we think about it, what kind of life would that be if all that we ever wanted we could instantly achieve? Think about that!
There is a process to creation for a reason. Whether it’s the potter and the clay, the artist and his canvas, the song writer and her lyrics, or the chef standing before all his ingredients preparing for his masterpiece. It’s the process one goes through in creating something out of nothing that ushers a magic, a certain power and force only demonstrated through concentrated focus. It’s the process of creation that demonstrates God’s power. And since we are created in His image, it is our fundamental desire to also create. But for us, it’s what you become along the journey towards the manifestation that’s the most important. Who and what you become along the path is the reason for the path!
My good friend took her entire summer and transformed her back patio into an oasis consisting of a water fall, beautiful greenery, a pond, and various other aesthetics, creating a very beautiful and tranquil space. She could have twitched her nose and skipped the process by simply hiring a landscaping company to come and produce her idea and significantly shorten the journey to a quicker manifestation and enjoyment of what she wanted. But she chose to toil through every aspect of this creation, often running into major road blocks and hindrances that stagnated and prolonged the process. It was both physically and mentally taxing. But her desire was greater than the obstacles that she faced. She understood that there was a force and power generated from the problems that she encountered that would not have been garnered without the problem. The problem CREATED a solution! These are the creative forces God has given us. This force is manifested mainly through your journey towards creation. This is why we never really stop desiring to achieve and do things in our lives, all our lives. And when we stop creating, we usually choose to leave this earth realm. WE ARE BORN TO CREATE! We all know innately we were put here for a reason. We were put here to do amazing things and achieve tremendous greatness!
Just as we discussed last week, the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly isn’t just some beautiful physical metamorphosis. It’s a creation at work. It requires a willingness to go through the process and the journey. Some caterpillars don’t survive through the process to become butterflies.
Don’t stagnate your growth and stifle your God-given potential by averting the process. Enjoy the journey along the path of creation. There is so much to gain in the process – alignment, joy, happiness, passion, contentment, bliss, etc. The question for you is… Are you the potter or the clay? Are you being the potter, living a life with deliberate intention to shape and mold your own destiny? Or are you the clay, being shaped and molded by your circumstances and situations?