Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Are We Like Play Dough?

by Donna L. Watkins

© 2006 Donna L. Watkins - Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk

A few months back our pastor did a sermon about being moldable and shaped by God. That we need to ask God to shape us and make us as He wants us to be and that we are pliable and willing to be molded.

At the end of the sermon, he had piles of homemade play dough at the front of the church and we all went forward to get a piece with a little plastic baggie so we could have it as a reminder to pray to be shaped like Christ.

I took mine home and kept it on the kitchen counter and several times a day I would get it out and "play" with it and pray that God would shape me into His image. It was a nice meditation break as I went about my work and house duties. It stayed soft and pliable as I worked it each day and added a few drops of water now and then to keep it soft (reminded me of how God adds Living Water to our lives as we spend time with Him).

One thing I noticed was that while I was doing this I had more faith in what God was doing in my life. I have always been a person with high expectations. More so for myself even than anybody else around me, although I'm sure they might see that differently. It seems no matter how much I accomplish I am always expecting more and rarely appreciating what I have already done.

Working with this small piece of dough made me realize that I'm such a tiny thing in the great scheme of the world and no matter what I do or accomplish, it's nothing compared to resting in the glory of the Father and focusing on a desire to be more like Jesus.

There must've been a day when we were expecting company and I decided to clear the kitchen counters of any unnecessary things, and that included the little bag of dough. It got put into a kitchen drawer. Out of sight, out of mind.

Is it just me? Am I the only one who thinks my house has to get the Good Housekeeping seal of approval before anybody can step inside the front door? I like what a neighbor once said to my husband when he went next door to help her husband do something. It was an impromptu thing so there was no time for them to "pick up," so when he arrived, she welcomed him into a messy house and said," We live here so the rooms will look like we do." I like that!

So what happened when the dough didn't get any shaping or water to keep it pliable and soft? It dried up. When I found it, it was as hard as a rock. It had not been watered and pressed in with the Word, so it just turned to stone. Although it 's in a round flattened shape a bit larger than a quarter, I can't even break it. It's rough all over and on one end you can see mold dried into the dough.

Looking at it reminded me of what we become when we don't spend time in the Word with our Heavenly Papa and let Him water us with His Word of Life. We become hard as rocks, rough and not good for much of anything. No longer useful or pliable - always wanting our own way and not His will.

I hope I will allow my "sculpture" to remain in the kitchen to remind me of what I will become if I don't spend time with my Creator every day. It would be easy to do other things in the mornings rather than spend time in the Word. If I miss one day, it always turns into more, but it doesn't take too many to discover that I am getting hard and rough and moldy without Living Water to nourish and feed my soul.

Father, I come to You asking You to mold and shape me. Help me to be pliable to Your will and desires for my life. Remind me to seek Your face each day and give me strength and determination not to stray from spending time with You. Show me even now a place where I can choose to meet with You each day. A place that I will not be able to pass without knowing that You are there waiting for me. A place where a simple devotion book and my Bible will remind me that You have much to show me. Mold and shape me to be more like You and to see circumstances from Your perspective, and when I cannot do that, stir up my faith that I may trust in You. Amen

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