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Friday, February 24, 2012

Evolving Clay

Been thinking about clay. My neighbor Anita loves the stuff. She can't seem to get enough of mushing her hands around in the sticky goop that miraculously ends up as colorful works of art. She scoops and kneads and molds and even recycles big, muddy blobs into rich pottery. I can never believe my eyes when I watch her fashion those gummy hunks into beautiful tableware that add grace and elegance to any home.

Then I look at myself and the people I love, and I notice something remarkable. We're all clumps of clay at some point along the Potter's continuum. Some of us appear mighty unfinished, but we're coming right along. We may not be ready to be served up at a state dinner, but we're pretty functional in our own right. Others among us look the part, but upon closer inspection, are found to have flaws and weaknesses that limit our usefulness as serving vessels. Despite our varied appearances, we all have one thing in common: we're fragile. In fact, when you get right down to it, we're nothing but dust that's been shored up by a strong hand  and steady fingers. As long as we keep our connection to that able Potter, He can and will mend any cracks that come along.

Hadn't we best be patient with our fellow vessels - and ourselves - as we limp along the journey toward wholeness?

Check out Fingerprints of God by Steven Curtis Chapman

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Overcoming Inertia, AKA, Getting Off my Butt

Avoidance. I do it well. My kids have been suggesting lately that I get out and do more things, to which I respond that I like being home with them, and am more than ready to just crash on Friday nights after working all week.

So it was with a giant pry bar that I disengaged myself from the couch to go to my church's retreat this past weekend. I delayed packing. I gave myself an escape clause. And I fretted.

"I don't know many people. What's it going to be like spending a whole weekend with them?"

 I feel like I have new sisters now.

"Will the bunks be comfortable?"

 I won the toss for the only bed in the room.

"Will the speaker have anything valuable to say?"

Donna Ebert's talks on the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Scripture-reading, solitude and Sabbath rest were uplifting and challenging.

"And what about this yoga piece they're offering? I like the exercises, but how will I handle it if things become New-Agey?"

They didn't; Mindy Marcozzi-Drake of Agape Health and Yoga did an awesome job of keeping it God-centered.

"Will I keep my roommates awake by snoring?"

I stopped short of tossing earplugs into my luggage to spare my bunk mates, but not before scavenging through the linen closet for a pair.

All my fears were unfounded. I had a Spirit-filling, heart-expanding, body-nurturing, rockin' good time.

Guess it's good to get off the couch now and then...