Austin Farrer on the Potter’s Clay

Broken Bowl_Kintsukuroi“Notice how the prophet or, rather, God’s word that comes to him relates our free will to the work of God. God is always beforehand and holds the mastery, for is not he God? Nothing comes of the clay–of our life, that is–but what God makes of it. The clay makes no shapes for itself except crazy shapes by distortion of the shape intended; a crack here, a lump there, a ruin and a confusion. The true life of the clay is to spin in to symmetry under the maker’s hand, yet nothing results, either, by the mere force of the hand unless the clay is fit and responds. The skill of the divine potter is an infinite patience of improvisation. No sooner has one work gone awry than his fingers are pressing it into the form of another. There is never a moment for the clay when the potter is not doing something with it. God is never standing back and watching us; his fingers are on us all the time. The world is his; from every side he touches and presses us. If we love his will, we take the shape of it. If we are lazy and selfish, his fingers oppose us, and make war on us, and crumble us back into obedience. We repent, and without a moment’s delay the ever-active fingers are molding us back into the divine image.” ~ Austin Farrer, A Faith of Our Own, 91-92

Lord, by Thy Spirit grant me the obedience to be receptive to Thy shaping will, to join with Thee in demolishing my lumps and cracks, ruinous and confusing–to be willingly molded into the image of Thy choosing.

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