Becoming Clay

Time is like a zipper. The past has been determined, while the future remains open. The present is that very interval of interaction between what is yet to be into becoming what has been. For our interaction with the eternal God to be at all meaningful, He must necessarily experience time sequentially as we do since its creation. This profoundly implies the openness of the future being guided by God, if we follow His will, or else a deviate from it. In this openness of the future, along with our free-will, it is therefore possible and even likely that what God wills for our life and what actually happens may be two different things altogether. The zipper-like nature of time and the gracious merciful nature of God continuously interact, so that even if we disobey and change routes God’s will is powerful enough to meet us in our current “fork in the road” to guide us again in His calling–or even create an entirely new calling.

The sovereignty of God, then, is shown as being even more powerful–He is after all omnipotent. To create an open system for a creature with a profound free-will, guiding the future requires not the stringing of a puppet, but the conviction onto the heart of that creature in and through relationship into a loving bond where the created creature relinquishes his own sovereignty, gifted by the Creator, into the hands of His master. This is what it means to be clay in the Potter’s hands.

Loving a “Charlie Brown” Tree

“When all else fades one thing remains: Your love is still pursuing me.” – Daniel Gonzales, Celebration Church

Getting out of the car we smelled the scent of pine that enveloped the area. Dad and I enjoyed the tree hunt, and I of course picked out the fullest, greenest, and awesome-est tree for his budget. I would tell him the one I’d chosen, the lumber guy would take it to trim the trunk and nail the base, we’d strap it to the top of the car, my dad would hand the guy a $5 tip, and we’d proudly drive home listening for any movements on the roof. If, for some reason, my noble expertise wasn’t provided and, for some odd reason, Mom would assist Dad, then we would definitely get something less than par. One bare side would be missing a large portion of branches and most likely the tree was pitifully leaning to one side; we debated which side needed the wall’s cover the most. This tree would also probably be the cause of old childhood ornaments falling and breaking off of unstable branches. And, every now and then, it would likely be too small to stand proud on the ground and reach the ceiling, to which Mom would grab a side table, drape it with Christmas cloth, and attempt to fit presents around the legs. This tree would desperately need, as we learned to withhold our critiques and complaints, my mother’s unashamed and unconditional love.
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