Thursday, July 8, 2010

All we are cracked up to be. . .

I have been working on my entry for this weeks post for days, but as I sat down this morning to complete it, I felt the need to speak of something else. A few months ago I was asked to speak in church. I was asked to pray about my topic rather than just being assigned one, and after much thought and prayer the topic became clear, and I feel the need to address here again today.

I read a short story called “The Cracked Pot”. The story goes as follows:

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his mater’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of it’s accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
“I am ashamed of myself, and want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered him some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half of its load, and so again apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us have our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father’s table and bring a beauty into this world that only we can bring. How boring would an orchestra be if there was only one instrument playing? It would not be complete without the fluttering of the flutes, or the graceful violin, or any of the other unique and beautifully important sounds that each and every instrument has to contribute. Each playing it’s own part in unison with others, and together they create a masterpiece that was not there before. A song that brings peace to a troubled heart, a melody that helps to replace anger with love and forgiveness, a tune that can bring hope where there was none before. We may not be able to change the world, but as we allow our Father in Heaven to lead and guide us we can change our world and even the world of others around us in small but very significant ways.

A few months ago my dear daughter did something to which my response to her was “Victoria, you are just awesome!” Her reply came without hesitation; “Ya, I know!” We need more “Ya, I know” ‘s in our lives and less, “No I’m nots” and “Ya but not as awesome as so and sos”. We are awesome. We are the sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Created by Him and in His image. This knowledge alone proves what awesome and powerful beings each and every one of us truly is. In Romans we read:
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God;
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together.” (chapter 8 verses 16-17)

Our Father in Heaven gave our brother and Savior the power and strength he needed to fulfill his mission in life. So will He do for us. What parent will strengthen one child and not the other? What parent will fight side by side with one and leave the other child to fight alone? None, including our Heavenly Father. He knows our weaknesses and can show us how to turn them into strengths and teach us how we can use our cracks in a way where we can still bring beauty to our Master’s table while on the road back home to Him. But we must come to Him. In turning to the scriptures again we are counseled: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and abraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5) The tools and power for us to create our own unique sonata are there for the taking, we just need to knock.

Christ was no stranger to pain, betrayal, mocking, lies and deceit, thirst, hunger, temptation, loss, and the feeling of being completely and utterly alone. He too withstood the painful blows of others hurtful words and lack of belief in him and the powers which he possessed. He too had to endure the repetitive naggings of Satan, tempting him to turn away from all that he was sent forth to do and his continuous attempts at trying to get him doubt who he was and in the power that stood behind him. Satan’s goal in our day is still the same. He constantly fills our minds with doubts. Forcing us to compare ourselves with the world around us, thinking that our imperfections make us unworthy of the blessings that our Father in Heaven so freely gives us. He tries hard to make us believe that if God truly loved us that He would simply just take it all away and magically make things right. As Christ kept his focus on his Father in Heaven and His will, as he continued to trust that God would bestow upon him the power to endure all things, Christ was able to overcome all and now finally rests from the weight of the world in the kingdom which our Father has prepared for us.

That wonderful gift is there for everyone. As we focus our lives and our hearts on the will of our Father, as we trust in Him to give us the power to overcome all adversity, and show us how to use both our strengths and our weaknesses for good, and as we continue to endure or rebuild, He will be there. He will continue to love us unconditionally, and strengthen us without question, just as any loving parent does. He will never give up on us, and we must not give up on us either. We are worth fighting for, and as has Christ proved, worth dieing for. Then one day, when our mission in life has been fulfilled, we can find peace and rest in our Father’s loving arms knowing that we never gave up, knowing that we accomplished all that we were sent forth to do, and knowing that we in fact are AWESOME, Cracks and all. . .

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” ~John Chapter 14:26-27


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