I often think about what my professional life would have been like had I ventured down the road less taken. As much as I wanted to be successful and economically stable, I couldn’t seem to shake the fact that I really wanted to be a professional potter. My love for ceramics is nothing new; I realize that I have addressed that on more than one occasion. But, frankly, I don’t care.
The entire process of building something out of nothing just amazes me. The time it takes to wane and mold a piece of clay can be extremely restorative. Round and round the wheel spins, and with every slip of the hand, a new layer is uncovered. The process of smoothing out the air holes, weeding out the inside gaps and building a strong foundation is not easily matched. Then… it happens, you finish your piece.
From the outside, your new creation shines in faultless glory. To any onlooker, this construction is unblemished and watertight. There is nothing it cannot hold. There is no joy you cannot find in it. It is perfect, exactly the way that it is created to be.
Imagine your surprise and extreme disappointment when you return to your creation after it has gone through the fire. You lift the lid of the kiln and ready yourself to admire your final formation. But to your dismay, the entire creation has destroyed itself.
During the firing process, there was an air pocket that was far too small to detect with the human eye. As pressure was placed on your creation, its foundation was not strong enough to support the weight. As much as you loved your piece, there was nothing to do but throw it out and begin again.
This is what the Lord says: “Go and buy a clay jar from the potter…Then break the jar while those who go with you are watching, and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I will smash this nation and this city just as the potter’s jar is smashed and cannot be repaired.”
Sometimes, things get so badly broken that nothing will repair it.