“Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” ~Romans 9:21
My daughter, Alliyah, had been talking to me for weeks about her “pinch pot” that she was making in art class. She would update me on what they were working on and when it would be ready to bring home. They worked on this creation over the course of a month. Two weeks ago, she announced, “Today is the day we get to bring our pinch pots home!” I was a little sad because I thought it was so blasted cute every time she said, “pinch pot.” At the same time, I was excited to see this beloved pinch pot.
When she brought it home, I had to suppress a smile because it was not anything like I expected. I had gone to the same elementary school that she currently attends and I remember making a dish out of clay in art class. The one I made was about 5 inches in diameter and was made out of clay. I had shaped it into a heart and I think my mom still uses it to this day for paperclips and spare change. I do not remember what grade I was in when I made it. I might have been a lot older (after seeing Alliyah’s, I’m sure I was a bit older). This was the image I had in my head, so when she showed me her tiny little pinch pot that looked like a bowl that had been shrunk by the laser ray from “Honey, I shrunk the kids,” I really had a hard time not laughing. It looked tiny in her already petite hand. It was kind of spongy, not hard like clay, and It was slightly bigger than a tea light candle.
And the thing is, she was SO proud of her pot and SO excited to show it to me. She did not necessarily think about the functionality, she was thinking about the creation. She had put so much time and care into carefully forming her pinch pot (pinch by pinch) and then selecting the colors she would use to decorate it. She had not thought about what it would be used for when she was done, she just enjoyed making it and was happy to have it in her possession when she was done. And she was excited to show the world.
As this little “pinch pot” often wonders what God made her for, I realize that in God’s eyes, He is less interested in what he will use me for. He first enjoys having me and being with me. That is not to say that he does not have plans for me. He absolutely intends to use me and desires to do so, but that is not what is most important to him. What is most important to his heart is that his creations get to be with him forever. And that is why he wants to use us: to help others be a part of his pinch pot collection.
I will find a use for Alliyah’s pinch pot because I delight in seeing it. It reminds me of her.
We have been formed in the image of God. When people see us, they have an opportunity to be reminded of God, their Maker. God wants to use you. It does not matter if you are used to the scale of the President of the United States or as the one flipping burgers (yes, these are cliché). The question is: Will you let him use you for whatever purpose he chooses?
If clay is to be used, it must be moldable. If it resists being molded, the Potter can not make it into what He originally set out to make it. The Potter will make the best, most useful creation out of the clay that the clay will allow.
And some pots will be used for common uses and others for special uses. Whether you are a “special” pot or a “common” pot – you have been made for a unique purpose. You were first made to be delighted in.
…and lest you struggle (like me) with the verse in Romans and you really want to be used for “noble” purposes, remember that the fancy china only gets pulled out once or twice a year. The regular plates get used every day. In the Heerlyn home, we ended up getting rid of our china because we did not use it enough – it just took up space.
I don’t want to just take up space, I want to be useful.