Perfect. Everyone is in search of “perfect.” The perfect house, the perfect job, the perfect partner, dress, hair color, routine, mission statement…you name it. We are all looking for something or someone else to show us THE standard to reach for. I’ll admit, I can be quite the perfectionist at times…or at least have perfect expectations. I very rarely have ever met the standard of “perfect” in anything that I set out to do though. I do, however have a very high tendency to place high standards on myself and on others. I mean, if I’m willing to place that sort of reach on myself then I think everyone else should be as driven. Right?
The problem with “perfect” or high expectations is that it’s all relative and you may not be capable of attaining it. Like Einsteins theory of time. There is no present because once you notice it, it’s already past. Once you set a standard it has already depreciated. It has already been weathered. You will hear of something else and it will be added on to your mountain top. And the higher we build our summit, the more rust our bell collects as it sits and waits in the elements. Waiting for us to never ultimately reach it. Or, if you do reach your summit…what next? You have to come back down! You can’t stay there forever. Then you’re in search of the next summit to reach.
I wrote the other day of how a potter uses dust and water to create clay which can then be turned into beautiful vessels. I had mentioned that in my dust that I call my life at the moment, I have to sift through it and get rid of the flawed pieces. The rough pieces that remained, in order to create a clean and unwanted particle free dust, thinking that it is what is needed in order to build a smooth and strong clay which would then be created into a stronger vessel. Like a cake batter that needs to be mixed well so all of the lumps are gone, otherwise you’re left with air pockets in the cake or clumps of uncooked batter.
I was wrong. That was just proof of my “perfectionism” coming out. Of having high expectations of myself before allowing God to use me, to mold me and to make me. If I wait to get rid of all of the undesirable old pieces of my past vessel, that was full of holes and cracks, I will never be shaped.
I learned that a potter will actually use pieces of old, broken pottery to blend with the new dust that will be shaped into a new work of art. A skilled potter knows how important it is to add in old, broken and shattered pieces of pottery to new clay. This mixture of old, shattered pottery is called “grog.” The old pieces must be shattered into dust just right. If shattered too rough and it will cut the potter’s hands, too fine and it will create weaknesses in the clay. However, when shattered just right, the clay will be made stronger. The potter will be able to create larger and stronger pieces of pottery. Also, when the clay is fired to strengthen it’s walls, it will be able to withstand greater heat and it will create a vessel more rich, beautiful and truly unique.
I absolutely LOVE the fact that I read this little tid-bit of information because it makes complete sense!
We can never truly get rid of the undesirable pieces of our past. HOWEVER, when we place our life in the hands of a skilled potter (God), he will be able to take pieces of our old self, break them perfectly, and use them to create your new self. A stronger, taller and more beautiful self that is truly unique and treasured!
I can not break up the pieces of my old self perfectly because my own hands are broken and laying among the rubble. I can’t see clearly how rough or how fine I’ve crushed the pieces, or if I’m even using the choice pieces of my broken life. I need The Potter to do the work and I need to place my faith and trust in him to use his skilled hands to make me and to make my life something stronger and more beautiful than it has ever been.
“A broken potsherd can lie on the ground and be nothing more than a constant reminder of brokenness. It can also be used to continue to scrape us and hurt us even more when kept in our hands. Or, when placed in our Master’s hands, the Master Potter can be entrusted to take the potsherd, shatter it just right, and then use it in the remolding of me to make me stronger and even more beautiful.” (Lysa TerKeurst – It’s not supposed to be this way )
Lord, I pray that you take my shattered life and you use of me what you will. I pray that you shatter me perfectly so that I can withstand the fire like never before! That my imperfections be not something that creates brokenness and weakness, but rather, are used to create a more beautiful and strong self that brings glory to your goodness and creation. That I not desire perfection, but rather, find joy in the beauty of my uniqueness and of those you place in my life.Tags: Clay, creation, God, Grog, Lysa TerKeurst, Newness, Potter, strength
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