Potter's wheel

It’s my life.

On bus rides there’s no choice but to listen to the conductor’s playlist on the speakers. Recently I heard Jon Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life.” He meant it in a privileged, self-absorbed way (“I just wanna live while I’m alive”) but it made me think.

We get such a short time, just a handful of decades, to shape ourselves into what we will be becoming for eternity. “They give birth astride a grave; the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more.” We’re like a potter, changing the shape of a vessel as long as it’s on the wheel – with every touch of a finger, changing its form and curves – until it comes off the wheel and goes in the oven to be fired into its permanent form.

There it is. It’s my life. I took what providence handed me, and here’s what I made of my soul. This is the only offering I have to give my God: this amateur shop-class project that looks as if I couldn’t even decide what I was trying to make. Is it an ashtray? A chalice? Whatever it is, my choices shape it every minute. Gratitude, envy, kindness, love of self, patience, distraction… there are a lot of thumbprints on this thing.

We need prayer for grace that can make it something worth offering. Something that will survive being fired without shattering. A vessel that can somehow become a thing of beauty in eternity. It’s my life – and it seems I still have a little while left to shape it.

“It is later than you think! Hasten, therefore, to do the work of God.” – Fr Seraphim Rose

Fr Silouan Thompson

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