Still, God, you are our Father. We’re the clay and you’re our Potter: All of us are what you made us.
Making pottery is an intriguing craft. It’s one of those things that seems very easy on the surface- it’s not though. Within the realm of “throwing on the wheel,” as it is called, there is a fine line between making an awesome piece or a not so awesome piece.
The first time I saw someone sitting down at a pottery wheel I thought to myself “Seriously, what is so hard about slapping some mud on a round surface and making a Chili Bowl?” I love chili by the way. Well, I found out the messy way that it is very, very hard.
In my attempt to craft the greatest Chili Bowl the world had ever seen, I failed to heed the most important advice I had been given: “for best results, center the clay first, and keep it that way.”
You see, the entire process of crafting pottery is only achievable if that formless lump of clay remains centered on the wheel…Plain and simple. If the clay shifts at all, it becomes off center and nearly impossible to work. The clay becomes wobbly, and wobbly is bad.
Wobbly clay is hard to form and doesn’t make for good chili bowls. Trust me, I know!
What’s the point?
So, what does this pottery talk mean for you, me and every other person in the world? Well, two things.
First, when we are centered on Gods potter’s wheel we are more reliant on Him and thus are more easily shaped and molded by his hands.
Second, when we fall off center, like clay, we become wobbly and messy things begin to happen. Outside forces creep in and cause us to work against the hands of the Father. It is when we lose our centered state on Gods potter’s wheel that we feel confused, lost, unconfident, restless, etc. In layman’s terms, our fleshly desires have taken hold and the centrifugal forces of the world have begun pulling us away from our heavenly Father.
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
So, what makes you wobbly?
What makes you wobbly? That’s a simple enough question, right? It is, but it’s an enormous one. Those four words require you to look deep inside yourself and flesh out the things that pull you away from God. Identifying these outside triggers is healthy and will help you guard against and overcome the things in life that cause you to become wobbly.
I regularly ask myself two questions. “What does wobbly Jonathan look like?” And, “what does centered Jonathan look like?” I write these down in a journal and note responses to each question. This has become a very handy tool that allows me to see things that creep in, cause stress, uncertainty, restlessness, and other baggage that pulls me away from God.
Taking this one step further I discussed this with my wife and a few friends. I asked them to let me know when they see me getting wobbly. I have found that sometimes we fail to see things in ourselves that others can easily identify. In the case of being wobbly, who better than a spouse, significant other, ministry partner, or close friend to lovingly intercede and let us know when we seem a bit of or wobbly. In today’s culture, it is easy to get lost in the day to day hustle and bustle of life. From personal experience, having a friend or my spouse say” what’s up? You seem a bit off” has been a game changer for me.
So ask yourself, “what does wobbly (_______) look like?” Now ask yourself, “what does centered (_______) look like?” Write your responses down, record them, and pray for them. Once you have identified what outside forces are making you wobbly pray for God to give you the strength to overcome whatever is keeping you off your game. None of us is perfect and Identifying your wobbles won’t make you into the perfect chili bowl either. My point is that by identifying your wobbles you can then work to overcome them, and when you overcome them you experience growth and are able to maintain a more centered life on Gods potter’s wheel. In doing so, you exhibit a more obedient behavior towards your heavenly Father which allows Him to shape and mold you into who He desires you to become.
Making it stick
1. What does centered ______ look like? What are those characteristics?
2. What does wobbly_______ look like? What are those characteristics?
3. What are some steps that you can take to guard against your wobbly triggers?
Jonathan Is a student at Liberty University majoring in Religion and Christian Ministries. He is the President of Job 31 Ministries, and Co-host of The Wretched and The Wrecked Podcast. He enjoys seeing people equipped, encouraged, and deployed into God’s Kingdom ready to make a healthy impact for the sake of the Gospel. To connect with him you can follow him on Twitter @jbcollier85, Instagram, and follow his blog The Round Table Discussions