The Potter's Wheel is simple in its structure: a flat round, spinning surface connected to a base which contains a mechanism for turning the working surface, powered by a manual pedal or a more modern electric mechanism for regulating speed. Alone the wheel spins in a circle and would otherwise have no other purpose, certainly it would not even be worthy of even mentioning. But it is important, in fact it is an essential piece of machinery to form any form of ceramic that has a hollow inside: vases, cups, pots, bowls.
Think about your life right now: it is spinning or is it producing?
The constant of life, the calendar, the course of a day, a week, a year, it goes on with the same rhythm year after year. Just like the potter's wheel, it spins but it would hardly be worth the mention except for the potential it has to be the mechanism for producing greatness. It has been said that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. I imagine a potter sitting at his wheel pumping the pedal, just watching it spin and wondering when the pot is going to be made. Or perhaps, in our lives we are just really afraid of getting dirty (I know my least favorite part of making pottery is having dried up clay crust under my nails.) So instead we sit and watch a flat life pass us by over and over again wondering why we can't get a break and be magnificent too?
You are the Clay
The Magnum Opus, your life, what you will leave behind to be remembered. This is the clay thrown to the wheel. Over time, and with meticulous applications of water, pressure, and stretching the clay takes shape. The spinning of the wheel maintains the balance of the piece. Clay become the ideal material for the wheel because of its desirable quality of being pliable. You can mold clay into just about anything. Your willingness to be flexible, molded, and open to the exuberance of living, to become something other than a lump of clay staring at a spinning wheel.
Whether you are a leader and know that this metaphor applies directly to your team (maybe you have some lumps of clay or spinning wheels you need to get together). Perhaps you are a parent and you are thinking that your home is a spinning wheel: you have the same routines and the same squabbles and now you need to use the clock (your wheel) to help you schedule time to mold your family. Or maybe you are just like me and you know that you are the lump of clay waiting to be thrown to the wheel and submit to the Master Potter. Where ever you are, you can identify with one of these positions. My hope is that you are not just sitting by watching a wheel spin, that you are willing to dig in and get your hands dirty to experience true living!