Using the Clay You Have.

by Amanda Petersen

"Life is not a clay I create; it is the clay I have before me at this moment to use."  Joan Chittister

I have been chewing on this sentence this week. Oh how I wish I could create my own clay instead of dealing with the clay right in front of me.  If I got to create the clay then all the choices would have been made.  I would know exactly what to do with what I have.

When I was in the 2nd grade I loved science because we were handed a tray full of what looked like random objects and told "make something out of this."  It was at times overwhelming because I could see other children knew what to do with some of the pieces I wasn't familiar with.  They made battery operated robots and such.  I tended to make sculptures.  I also became curious about how to make things move.  Something I never would have dreamed I'd be interested in if I hadn't been given that random tray of objects to play with.

So many times one doesn't get the opportunity to choose their life circumstances.  Money, no money, health, illness, who our parents are, where we live, etc.  Sometimes the choices one has made in the past seem to feel like undoable choices.  There is a sense of "what I am supposed to do with this tray of junk?"  Or "well, I picked this junk so I'm stuck with it."

I am loving this quote because it feels like God placing a tray in front of me and saying "this is the clay that is before you right now, it is yours to interact with.  Let's play with this.  It is yours to use in this moment.  How will you use it?  What choices will you make?  Are you going to interact with it or wish you had a different tray?  When the items change will you not let them go or pay attention to what is new?"

If you are like me there are many things on my tray right now.  Some I chose and some I didn't.    Yet this is the moment of Life you have.  This is the clay you get to play with.  How do things change when the burden of creating a Life is taken away and replaced with interacting with Life?  How do you interpret Joan Chittister's sentence?  We will be looking at her book Between the Dark and the Daylight on February 2nd. Come and join the conversation.

Amanda Petersen2 Comments