But I don’t want to go to Africa!

January 9th, 2007 • Category: Think Different
by David Squire

Today’s scripture: Isaiah 45:9-12 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Squire):

When I was a kid, maybe 8 or 10, I somehow got the idea in my head that if I surrendered my will to God — if I really decided to follow Jesus whole-heartedly — that God would send me to Africa to be a missionary. And I thoroughly, sincerely, did not want to go to Africa.

I really did want to do what God wanted me to do. But I thought that God would require me to do something I hated, something I’d have to endure, to show my devotion. It scared me to think about it, so I didn’t. I just sort of coasted by, staying rather lukewarm in my commitment to follow Jesus.

Even the illustration in today’s Scripture — God as the potter, me as the clay — was a scary image then. If I wasn’t a “perfect pot”, God just might squish me on the celestial potter’s wheel, or smash me to shards.

But I think we can see the potter/clay metaphor differently.

Everything that’s part of me — everything I love, everything I’m good at, every aptitude and ability, everything that’s in me already — is part of the Sculptor’s work. My lack of desire to go to Africa wasn’t the clay rebelling against the Potter, but instead was part of how God has made this particular vessel. I wasn’t made to be a missionary. But for someone else, that will be their source of joy.

I now believe that conforming to God’s plan for me will bring me my greatest fulfillment. Only when I offer up what God has already fashioned, and allow God’s creative work to continue, will I be all that I am destined to be.

Thought and prayer for the day: You’re the potter, I’m the clay. God, continue Your work in me — I can’t wait to see what You’re making!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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