“Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
I now have a far better understanding of this verse than I ever did before, thanks to just a week of ceramics class. After I went home the first day I remember thinking, “Oh, yeah, this is why I avoided the wheel like the plague in high school!” But with a few days of intense practice, I went in for about an hour and a half today and threw three cylinders and only one reject! Somehow they all inevitably wind up the same diameter, differing only in height, but hopefully I’ll be able to branch out a little bit.
The most important thing I’ve learned is the importance of centering. This was always what tripped me up in high school, so I was a little concerned when I still couldn’t do it right after four hours of practice. But it is absolutely essential to have the clay centered, because if you open an uncentered lump of clay and try to shape it, the entire piece will be off. (I have finally gotten this skill down fairly well, though sometimes I cheat and manage to coax a marginally off-center piece to completion.)
I’m seeing the same pattern in my life: my efforts at ministry seem to have been constantly frustrated for the past few months (or maybe I just feel that way, but that feeling is real enough to have rather serious repercussions for me personally and those around me) and I think it is because I am not able to focus on the right Person. There is an old problem resurfacing that I thought I had buried, but obviously not deep enough. A lot of what I’ve done in the past twelve months, even the “good” stuff, has been me trying to ignore that off-centeredness and forge ahead anyway. To a certain degree, God let me go with it, even as far as Taiwan, but now things are spinning out of control and I am on the verge of collapsing. And I can only pray that He can and will bring me back to center.
This is the sterilized version of “things”. I wrote a much rawer entry last night but accidentally deleted it before posting. I believe that was God guarding my privacy better than I am able, so I’m not going to try to rewrite it, but if you read this, please pray that I can receive forgiveness and healing from what I have dubbed spiritual diabetes. Thanks.