The celebrated artist wanted to create one last masterpiece. He took a bucket of clay and placed some of it on the potter’s wheel. When he did, the lump of clay said, “What do you think you’re doing?” Though it was strange for the clay to talk to the potter, the master responded by saying “Trust me, I am going to make something beautiful out of you.” He then took his thumbs and dug down into the clay. “Ouch, that hurt,” proclaimed the clay. The master started spinning the clay faster, all the while shaping it with his hands. The clay yelled, “Stop it, I’m getting dizzy.” The master finally stopped and walked away from the potter’s wheel.
A few hours later, the master returned. He reached into his sheath and revealed a large shaping tool. The potter’s wheel started spinning once again, but this time it was not the master’s gentle hands that shaped the clay: It was a rigged tool that forced the clay into positions that were very uncomfortable. Finally, the trimming was over, and the spinning stopped. Before the clay could catch its breath, the master sat the clay inside an oven. The clay screamed, “Let me out of here.” After several minutes, the master removed the clay from the oven and sat it down on a bench to continue drying.
Later, the master returned with a sculpting knife. He began to carve the clay. “Are you crazy?” exclaimed the clay. The clay wanted to believe the artist would make him into something beautiful, but was now convinced the master only wanted to hurt him, cause him pain, and punish him. Each cut seemed to go deeper than the one before. After etching the clay from top to bottom, the master sat the clay on a small work table that was nicer and cleaner than anything else in the workshop. There was even a mirror on this table for the clay to see itself in. When the master left the room, the clay began to notice something very significant: It was no longer just a lump of clay. The master had turned it into a beautiful teacup.
Days later, the master artist returned with a pallet of paint and fine tip brushes. The teacup watched itself in the mirror being transformed into a vibrant piece of art. He felt bad for ever doubting the master’s intent. That was, until the master finished painting. This time the master made the temperature in the oven two times hotter than before, and kept the clay inside the oven for over thirty minutes. The teacup screamed, “It was painful when you put your thumbs in me. It hurt when you molded me and cut me, but this is way too much to bear. I can’t take it. Please let me out!” The teacup continued to plead, but the master said, “It has to be.” Finally, the master took the teacup out of the oven and placed it back on the workbench. The next day, the master’s assistant transferred the teacup to a new location. The teacup wondered if it would ever see the master again.
Years later, the teacup was taken to an elite auction house. The bids began at $10,000. The teacup had no idea how valuable it was. After a few minutes, the competitive bidding for the teacup had reached over $100,000. As the bidding was about to end, an elderly man in the corner of the room yelled, “One million dollars.” It was none other than the master artist himself. Not only did he turn the clay into something special, he bought it back. All the teacup knew to say was “Thank you!”
Through all your pain and confusion, ask yourself this one question: What can the master do in your life?
Rick Moore is Pastor of Communication at Destiny Worship Center in Miramar Beach.