in the hand of the Potter

"trees and some clouds" Rick

“trees and some clouds” Rick

The Potter and I

Rick Stassi

Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter‘s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? Isaiah 29:16 (KJV)

We cannot guide the Potter’s hand. We cannot influence the Creator. Can the flowing tide argue with the waxing moon any more than the ebbing with the waning? How we try to change things about ourselves. How dissatisfied we sometimes are. Why do the grasses seem greener beyond our grasp?

I know who I am. I have felt inferior by self-examination many times.  It is a burdensome yoke to walk in. I busied about those things which I could change to make life feel better. Feeling better about me, built my self-esteem. However, it was on a shifting-sand foundation. Changing a purposeless life was my plight and climbing a mountain of sand was my method.

Can the limited become limitless? Are we fated for a single place in a long life? Puzzling are the questions the broken people have about life and certainly we are all broken.

I was very inquisitive growing into adulthood. I enjoyed the long evening conversations with equally inquisitive friends. There was wine and curiosity. The Big Bang is so interesting, I thought. Yes discussing Stephen Hawking for hours was a captivating conversation. How surreal is the birth of the Universe or the creation of Man. Then our conversations would move to other things: books and movies. There were films with enticing metaphor and romantic existentialism. Directors like Peter Weir using their own curiosity to rouse mine. I remember the swans in Weir’s “Picnic at Hanging Rock” and how they must be symbolic of angels…. Still, moving on, how romantic Nabokov’s deserts, the brutal eroticism of Miller, or the tragic plague of Camus. There was always enough night and always enough wine.

Despite all this curious intelligence, I failed to finish college. Wine and beer finished for me. They forgot to give me my certificate though. I struggled through work and I became a second-tier person. Others were smarter and it was depressing feeling this way. I was still inquisitive and that in itself propels one further down a path. It evades stagnation for when you stop being curious, your mind simply rearranges all it is limited to work with, over and over.

I am intelligent. But in this intelligence, I kept trying to compete. I learned this:  Just because a person is convincing, doesn’t mean they are right, or even smart. They just know how to subdue. It is dominating control and manifests insecurity and now it is so obvious to me when I see it in people, it makes me ill.

My curiosity propelled me; the problem was the path I was propelling down. Understand it is good to seek but be cognizant of the direction. You can travel through wormholes and nebulae, love affairs, and perspiring, dusty Algerian deserts; but, with such scattered curiosity, it is hard to stay grounded. Soon all are tossed onto a pile of books of master writers and even Hawking’s universe becomes uninteresting and gathers dust. When the clay begs new form, it must bond with the hands of the potter. Internal wisdom becomes futile until external contemplation reaches the place where God waits.

When we have quit trying to be the author of our lives we become sane. We are insane to try to fix a broken life with the tools at our disposal. We are all broken. Remember Adam fallen? We have a single chance to stand back up through Jesus.

The wine eventually stopped –abruptly and with casualties. Our Father waits for people like me to unravel and fall in a heap of remorse. We find we do not control anything except control itself. Yes we yield control, open vulnerability, become humble, and pray for God’s help to fix a broken body. He is in control and He creates the path on which we are propelled down. Curiosity is great. Be inquisitive about the things of our Lord. He answers all questions. I am frustrated to try to fully articulate what He means to me. So I rest in simplicity. God takes me to places I would not have found myself.

Joy whirls inside my heart. It comes out in bits and pieces and signifies the true Potter is molding me. I am formless clay and I can feel His hands of Love. Shed your skin and expose your hidden heart. God protects us when we make ourselves vulnerable. He uses these moments to show others that we are all so much alike and we can compassionately love each other. We all try to fix things and we all worry deeply about our apparent inadequacies. Know this: you are not inadequate. You are more than adequate as you are worthy of dinner with a King.

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