HOW MOLDABLE ARE WE?
“Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)
It is not Lent yet, but I have a confession today: I often want to be the potter. I want to fashion my life without any help from God, which means that I have a certain amount of willfulness. This is what I want to do... this is how it should happen... this is what it will look like. And I think that the Lord, when he is not frustrated with me, just laughs. Or perhaps he shakes his head. “Oh, Peter, you are going to do this the hard way, huh? Are you sure that is the way you want to go... with you being the potter?”
There is another way, and it is all about willingness - a willingness to have God teach us and mold us in the way that would be most beneficial for us and for the world. And that means letting go. That means a certain amount of surrender. That means listening for God’s still, small voice. That means letting God be God, and being absolutely fine with claiming my identity as one who has been lovingly created by God - just as you have been, just as the mountains and the mountains lions and the flowers and fungi have been... just as planets and stars and moons and galaxies have been. God fashioned all of us, and here’s the thing: once we are born, God is not done fashioning us! God still wants to mold us and shape us, so that we get even better at bringing love and peace and light to the world.
So... how moldable am I? How moldable are you? How moldable are we? If God is the potter and we are the clay, then that is the question I hear today. How moldable am I?
Being moldable doesn’t mean that we sit around on a comfortable chair, waiting for God to “zap” us. No. This life involves stepping out into the world, having an impact for good - through the way we treat others and the way we treat the planet. We take responsibility for our own actions. Another way to think about responsibility is to look at the word more closely: we have the ability to respond. We can choose to bring appreciation and peace and love and joy to the world, rather than blaming or criticism or hate or violence.
Yes, there is a stance that we take when we are most available and useful to God. It is a stance of being willing to orient our lives toward God, a stance where we open our eyes and ears and hearts and say to God, as Mary did, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
Let us be like Mary, and be moldable.