Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thoughtful About . . . The Potter and the Dried Out Play-Doh

When I was younger, one of my favorite songs was "The Potter and the Clay." I had the sheet music for it, and I would sit down and play and sing that song until my family was probably ready to snatch it from my piano and toss it out the window.

In high school, I got a little bit of experience with actual clay, the kind you shape and model and fire in a kiln. The kind that, as my art-teacher BIL pointed out the other week, is muddy and dark when you're working with it, but which emerges from the flames a pure white. All sorts of spiritual significance in that, huh?

But these days, I'm in Play-Doh World. It happens when babies grow into toddlers and need to be entertained at a seat for ten minutes now and then. =) Now, I'm a big Play-Doh fan. Bright colors, non-toxic, not too messy . . . until it starts to dry out. Inescapable, right? Eventually, the modeling compound get dry and crumbly and cracked.

Gee, no spiritual significance in that. Ha. Ha ha. Seriously, I can't count the number of days I've felt like that--like I started out this wonderful, bright, innocent thing, able to be shaped into whatever the Potter wanted. But then life sneaks in, disappointments and rejection keep coming, and there are days when I just feel dried out, crumbly. It doesn't usually last long (for me--I've yet to successfully re-hydrate the Play-Doh), but still.

Then last year, I discovered a kind of RoseArt clay. Bright, colorful, non-toxic, and smells good to boot. And on the bucket, it says "Never dries out!" Yeah, right. Right? I didn't believe it, and I didn't figure I should try to test it out. Until one day, my daughter hid some when I wasn't looking. I found it a week later, sighed, picked it up prepared to throw it away . . . and was amazed. This clay was still malleable. Still soft. Still bright, colorful, non-toxic, and fragrant. Unbelievable!

So as my kids sit here playing with this clay, which has been sitting out for who-knows-how-long (my daughter is an expert hider--I had no clue she had put some in her music box! Oy!) I realize I want to be like this clay. I don't want to have the excuse of "dried-out days are inescapable." I don't want to think that of course things will crumble eventually. Why should they? Why should I? I serve an expert Potter, one who uses a secret formula of life to create the clay from which I'm made. Why should I assume He made me of stuff that can't survive long in the fresh air?

Play-Doh is still awesome, don't get me wrong. But I don't want to be Play-Doh. I want to be made of a clay that can always be reshaped into the image the Potter has in mind, no matter how long I've been out in these winds and heat of life. I want to be molded by Him daily. I don't want to sing about the Potter and the Modeling Compound. I want to be the clay.


  1. I've always loved that analogy. It's fun to read a mommy version of it :)

  2. I had to laugh when you talked about your family snatching the song. I used to be fascinated w/weird stuff like the size of mountains & how old they were. I'm sure my parents & brothers were ready to toss me out the car windows when I'd go on and on about that stuff. Best!