As a pastor I often remark, “I did not see that one coming.” Usually it is in regards to unforeseen conflict or perhaps a troubling conversation with a church member. Yet, yesterday I made that comment in regards to a squirrel. That’s right – a squirrel.
I have been in a bitter battle against a squirrel for over a year. After numerous calls to pest control this squirrel still manages to make a way into the church through a hole he has chewed (and re-chewed and re-chewed) above my office window.
I walked into the church office yesterday with a church member for a scheduled meeting
…….. and there he was.
My formidable foe was giving me the stare down IN MY OWN OFFICE.
To make a long story short the squirrel was captured and removed. I truly thank God for the church member who was with me during the epic squirrel stare down. I don’t know what I would have down if I encountered him alone.
After the ordeal was over I uttered, “I did not see that one coming.” Looking back on my calendar I did not find “Capture Squirrel” on the to-do list. It was truly an unexpected use of an hour.
A day later I arrived to the office (without encountering a four-legged creature) and sat down to read Jeremiah 18 – the famous story of Jeremiah’s visit to the potter’s house. In this passage God compares himself to the potter and he compares the people of Israel to the clay. As the potter molds and shapes the clay so God molds and shapes his people.
This morning the the latter half of Jeremiah 18:4 caught my attention “… shaping it as seemed best to him.”
The Potter is in control. The Potter shapes according to his design – not ours.
I can think of times when God shaped me and I uttered “I did not see that one coming.” I did not see it coming because it was not my design. I had something different planned. I was looking forward to MY design. My design was on the calendar. My design was on the to-do list. I did not see it coming – and it might have been painful – but I benefited from it.
After much time of reflection, I long for those moments. For it is in those moments that I conform to the Potter’s design. There is no other place I’d rather be than on the Potter’s wheel.