God is the Potter. We are his vessels.
A potter has the absolute right to mold a lump of clay into a valuable vessel of honorâ€”a vessel placed in a prominent place for people to enjoy. The same potter also has the absolute right to make out of a lump of clay a vessel of dishonorâ€”a vessel to be placed in a corner where no one will notice. Our God has this absolute right, though it may be difficult for us to accept. God can make us noble and respected as well as humbled and disdained.
Regardless of whether a vessel is noble or humble, the vessels a good potter makes reflect all his skill and intentions. After all, whether the vessels are noble or humble, it is not according to the vesselâ€™s choice, but rather the potterâ€™s will. Therefore, noble vessels should not be proud, and humble vessels should not be bitter.
The potter has but one purpose, which is to make all vessels useful. If noble vessels are put in inappropriate places and yet do not magnify their usefulness, they are like useless trash. Humble vessels, though slighted, if properly used, are valuable and indispensable.
A certain Japanese military strategist was once a servant in the home of his master. Whenever his master was going out, he would bring straw sandals for him to wear. During the winter, his master was surprised to find the straw sandals were warm. The servant explained that he had warmed them up in the bosom of his own clothes. The master deeply appreciated his servantâ€™s loyalty and appointed him to an important position.
Whether or not we can be great does not so much depend on what office we hold, but rather upon the attitude we harbor in fulfilling our ministry. A truly great person will do his best, even if entrusted with the smallest errandâ€”thereby revealing the greatness of his spirit.