Clay

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I believe that, for most of my life so far,
I have been the primary potter with my own clay.
I have shaped much of my own destiny.

God might see this differently.
God might be giving me the divine eye roll right now.
But it’s what I think –
that, for better or for worse,
I have been making most of my own forms up to the present time.

Maybe that’s how it goes.
We are given a brand-new fistful of clay
and we mess with it and mess with it,
see what all it can do.
We shape it this way and that,
and it serves very well.
Look, I can make this, I can make that!
I have produced a cup, a pot, a bowl.
I can actually use each of these things and they work!
Very cool.  I am happy.

But at some point,
one begins to run low on ideas.
There may not be a next obvious step,
a next logical shape to make.
I might have done all I know to do with this clay,
but my story is ongoing.
There is more to live, more to learn, more to share.
The story is not all told.

The clay waits for its next formation.

Am I brave enough, truly,
to collect the scattered parts of myself together the best I am able
and give them back to God to shape and use as God sees fit?

I am not sure.

It sounds fabulous on paper and it reads great,
but it lives precariously.
I’m not sure I’m ready for precarious.

I have been gathering up my pieces lately,
considering what to do with them,
and I am looking at you, God.
If I hand me to you,
what will you do with me?
More frightening still, what will you not do with me?

When we recite the Wesleyan Covenant Prayer in church,
the part that strikes real fear in my heart is
let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee.
O God, lay me not aside!

But,
(deep breath…)
not my will, O God,
but thine.

God, teach me to trust.
I do believe!
Help thou my unbelief.

I have this clay, God.
I am this clay.
Help me give it to you.
Teach me how to not grab it back.

Into your hands, O God,
I commit this clay,
I commit this doubt,
I commit this yearning,
I commit me.
Now and always,
over and over,
forever and ever,
world without end,
Amen.


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