The potter and the clay

Campus Blog

The potter and the clay

March 5th, 2013 | Lane Simmons

I’ve taught photography at Evangel for seven years and have the privilege of hanging around with talented faculty and students every week. I am intrigued by the other art disciplines and have recently surrendered to my curiosity about ceramics.

Mitch Yung (ceramics 1-4 instructor) endeavors to teach me the ceramics-making process.

While discussing my first attempts at making simple cylinders, Mitch said to me, “Now you can see why the Bible makes so many references to the potter and clay” (Isaiah 64:8, Jeremiah 18:4, Romans 9:21).

I couldn’t get away from the analogy and its relativity to life. To shape lifeless clay into a useful vessel, it is placed on a wheel and  ‘centered’ —  pressure is applied to the spinning clay by the potter’s hand to force it into a unified mound which can be drawn up into the beginnings of a vessel. This centering is reminiscent of what happens to Christians as we develop relationship with God — we center all our thoughts, anxieties, hopes, dreams and day-to-day life activities on Him.

Next, the centered clay is pushed downward from the top to form the base and then it is simultaneously pushed outward and pulled upward by the potter’s hands to form the vessel walls.

When we understand this redeemed life we’ve been granted from God, He can start to mold us into His plan. Sometimes we are pushed, pulled and pressed in seemingly diverse directions, but it is the Master’s hands forming His perfect vessel for His perfect purpose.

Picking a college is one of those pressing times in life. It means picking a career, new friends, mentors and figuring out how to pay for it all.

Sometimes it also means being far from that which feels comfortable. I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Evangel and can remember the agonizing circumstances in both decisions. As an undergraduate, it meant traveling 700 miles from home to a campus full of strangers and ambiguity toward the major to pursue. As a graduate student, it meant long hours away from wife and kids and struggling to not fall behind at work.

All the uncomfortable pushing, pulling and stretching got me to the great place I’m at right now — but only after going through it all.

God knows what He wants for your life, and if you continue to center yourself on Him, He’ll mold your future with the same hands that created the universe.

Want more? Join the Evangel University Art Area on Facebook.

Lane Simmons

Photography Instructor

Lane Simmons, founder and owner of Zone 5 Photography, has been teaching photography at Evangel since 2005. His passion is for event coverage/photojournalism and teaching others to create incredible imagery.

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