Cracked Pots

Monday Morning Quarterback; Reflections from your Pastor……

          In this the season of the ham & turkey circuit, (graduation open houses) it is not a bad time to consider Paul’s reminder to the church at Corinth when he tells them ”But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.”  Paul’s statement is a clear admonition to not think too highly of ourselves or be over confident in our own strength. It suggests an impermanence of this life (clay pots get broken) and a limitation of our humanness. Something that I fear today’s youth has already seen far too much of. But this admonition to not see yourself as “all that and a bag of chips” might seem contradictory to parents who have just spent 17 or so years trying to instill self confidence in their child. We have raised our children to be bold and confident in their abilities in order that they may go out into the big world and succeed.  Paul’s statement might also conflict with the adages, advice and speeches or when we tell our children to be all that YOU can be and going for the gusto and all that. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with confidence in self or positive motivation to persevere and excel, especially for young people. The problem comes when we teach young people to rely only on themselves to succeed. When we place so much weight on our own abilities and when failure comes (and come it must) our lives can be shattered into pieces. Yes, we want our children to succeed as they venture out, but don’t we also want them to know and believe that WITH GOD, anything is possible?

In other words, to succeed will require more than just their own effort, commitment, diligence and strength. It will require a faith that understands that our abilities, our talents, our gifts are all from God; the one who has given us breath is the one who ultimately has all the power, even power over death.  We want them to rely and trust in God in times of difficulty, but also in times of success. If we believe that our strength comes from God, then when failure comes, our source of strength can never be depleted. For a life lived for God, with the understanding that it is all from God, is a life that is lived fully into God’s design. It creates empathy, kindness and compassion in our world. It allows us to be unselfish and generous.  It creates a better world. And isn’t that what we want for our children; to become a member of a society that creates a better world in which to live? So, yes, go out into the world and conquer and achieve your dreams all you graduates!  Let your let shine; and let it shine for the one who gave it to you in the first place.