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Life is a Workshop

“Life is a workshop; the crafting of our soul is our own work to do. We are all pieces of creation, of clay, into which we are asked to breathe life. It is ours to work that clay.”
~ Dee Dee Risher in The Soulmaking Room

knead 2Work that clay…

Not, take that clay to the gym and work up a good lather.
Press, Pull,
Twist, Lift,
That’s designed to work out.
Squeeze every ounce
into the juice glass to be consumed.

Work that clay…

Meant to work something in.
Blend, Knead,
Roll, Shape,
To reach the consistency just right
for baking.

Broken that we might be given.

The bread machine of life?

I just love a great bread workout: kneading and folding, punching and pulling, tucking and tossing. Or at least I used to until we got the bread machine. Lookie here! We can pour in the ingredients, close the top, flip the switch and, in a few sumptuously fragrant hours, voila! Crispy crust and golden bread.

I did that until the starter packets ran out. Then the machine took its place in the corner and gathered dust until I reluctantly took it to the donation station.

Something about the ease of automatic left me wanting. Sure, the bread tasted marvelous but the attraction wasn’t in the tasting, it was in the processing. I was missing. I was missing my workout.

Today I read “Work out your own salvation which God has worked in you already” from Oswald Chambers. Never really been clear on the whole working out my own salvation. I mean, should I really be in charge of that? But the working in part, God’s part, the raw materials and the yeast, seem very like God. Have I been taking a bread machine approach to life? Hoping that if I just open the lid and let God pour in the goodies, all will be well on its own.

I sure hope God isn’t inclined to give up on me after the starter packets are done. Shove me in the corner, let me gather dust and ship me off to the Goodwill. I’d deserve it all. Thank goodness He’s a bit more patient. I expect he’s waiting for me to come back to the old fashioned way: knead, cover, let rest, let rise, punch down, cover, let rise again. Aha! Rise again! God’s been in charge of this process the whole time!

Figures it would take the bread of life to give rise to the life of God in me. Good thing it’s not automatic. What meaning would there be if I were just pre-programmed by the machine? I guess that’s the workout part. My part. Hope that yeast hasn’t expired.

The funnel of life leads to the narrow way

Funnels are so much fun. So functional. So practical. Take all that content and pour it right on in. Down it goes, swirling and mixing, tossing and turning. Churning and bumping and… narrowing and forcing and pushing and shoving. Vying to be first, to be next, to make its way.

Imagine if we made everything stand in a straight line and wait its turn. Nothing left to chance. No mixing. Just take a number and step on down. How much fun would that be?

Yet, that is often what I ask for. Make this easy, God. Settle things down. Just show me what I am supposed to do here. Put things in order so no one gets hurt.

But God knows me. He knows I need the funnel. The very large-mouthed funnel to pour in all that complaining, all those questions, all those wants and desires, fears and failures. To receive my reluctance and tolerate my procrastination. Oh yes, God knows me so very well.

He says, I’ll take all of you. Okay then, here ya go! And I stand amazed as gravity pulls everything down and toward the center. Funnels it to the narrow way. It finds its way down, simply and securely, not by its own means but by a better way. Which delivers a steady stream of me. Sifted and perfect for His recipe.

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