North Texas Catholic
(May 3, 2024) Faith-Inspiration

"Behold as clay is in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand." - Jeremiah 18:6 (iStock/Halfpoint)

This spring, my boys are once again playing baseball together. It is a precious time in their lives that I thoroughly enjoy. I happen to also enjoy the benefit of sports in teaching my children life lessons, particularly when the lesson happens to reinforce what I have been teaching at home. 

Recently during a practice, their coach was frustrated with the team and spoke to them about the same thing I find myself saying time and again: being coachable. Sometimes the coach, with his experience and outside perspective, can pick up on a small, fixable mistake that the player is making. Perhaps raising the elbow just a tad higher at bat will improve aim, or running clear through the bases will prevent inadvertently slowing down just before the base. The player would be doing himself a disservice by insisting his way is better and refusing to adjust. The player must be coachable, taking the advice in stride and adjusting for better results.  

Coachable. Teachable. Moldable. It is something we as adults ought to be striving for as well. It’s not just our kids who ought to have this quality. Jeremiah 18:6 reads, “Behold as clay is in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand.” God wants to mold us. 

But what does it mean to be moldable? Well, there are a few qualities of a moldable person that I can name. A moldable person must be open to the process and surrender themselves entirely to God. They are patient and accept that the result will probably look different than what they had imagined for themselves. And lastly, they do not hold back from accepting His will.

All of this is, of course, much easier said than done. 

We have to allow God to mold us. We have to give Him all of the clay and let Him shape it. If we try to keep some of our clay, some of ourselves, we will be doing a disservice. Perhaps it is due to fear, shame, or our own thoughts on what is best for us, but when we hold our clay for ourselves, we are saying that we know better. Even though, logically, we all know Who knows best.

This process of molding and shaping begins at our very conception and will last our entire lives. And it is a process that will be repeated over and over again. We are never really “done.” He uses our time on Earth, sometimes in spite of our own will, to prepare us for heaven. We must practice patience and give God enough time, trusting in the process.

Similar to a pottery class when the teacher passes out the clay, some get straight to work and are done in five minutes, but their work is less than spectacular. They have not taken time to carefully go back and check each step. The potter who takes plenty of time, reviewing and fixing and mending in areas, strengthening and fortifying, will leave with a product that will not break or shatter later on.  

Each of us has a unique calling. This process of molding and shaping us for our calling may not look how we had envisioned, and the end result may look completely different than our ideas. However, part of being moldable means putting aside what we think we will be and giving in to God’s will for us. 

He won’t make mistakes along the way, but we certainly will. But God is not afraid of our lowest, weakest, or most shameful places. He will mold those places, fixing our mistakes, so long as we let Him. Where He sees a weakness, He will go back, just as the potter does, strengthening and fortifying those areas until they are made fit. God carefully molds us again and again. 

God shapes us. Builds us. Molds us. Forms us. Teaches us. Coaches us. Our duty is to cooperate. 

Katie Leonard

Katie Leonard studied early childhood education at Oklahoma State University. She has found her passion in home educating her children and passing on the faith to them. Find more of her columns for the North Texas Catholic here.

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