How come nobody ever says they were Joe Schmo?

Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use?
—Romans 9:21

Common Prayer, Pocket Edition handed me the above today.

At the same time, I remembered the character Crash Davis saying, “How come, in former lifetimes, everyone is someone famous?”

It didn’t sit well with me—aren’t I one of the objects for special use? That’s the message we heard in elementary school during the special pull-out classes: you are destined for great things! That’s the impression I took away when God spoke into my ear—that doesn’t happen every day, that must be only for the set-apart. Aren’t I famous? Or gonna-be-famous? Not ordinary. Not me!

I sat with that pouting mindset a while and watched it stomp around.

It occurred to me that perhaps “special use” might not be what I want to be. “Special use” are the objects that are used on special occasions, that is, infrequently. Wouldn’t my vision of being God’s handmaiden fit better with being an object for ordinary use, each and every day? Wouldn’t I prefer the consistency and affirmation of ordinary?

Hm. What, then, if my artistry (my vocation) is meant for special use and I’ve been pushing at the ordinary? Meant for infrequent moments, not routine ones. I could see dissonance rattling around in my head if I’m thinking “daily” and my call is for “sometimes.” “Sometimes” has a lot more blank space inside it than “daily.” Special, then, might call for a different kind of discipline…?

That said, my intuition affirms that daily dusting is still important for the special-occasion ware. Given that I’d rather be out than shrink-wrapped or swathed in dustcovers!

And John Calvin trumps all my vain mutterings in saying, “We never truly glory in God until we have utterly discarded our own glory.”

Back to the cell for another round of prayer!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *