Take care of your thoughts, you are responsible for them. They are all yours. Judgement will ultimately be on how you decided to think. Because as the old saying goes:
- your thoughts determine your words
- your words determine your actions
- your actions determine your habits
- your habits determine your character
- your character determines your destiny.
We are the clay, chosen people or heathen, we are all of the same material, different lumps. I used to think, if we’re all in Hers* hands, what responsibility do we have
(Rom 9:19) ? Free will and predestination is a conundrum we won’t get straight in our limited minds ever. But that notwithstanding, I more and more feel grateful to be in Hers hands, as it means that S/he can still recover the contorted mess i have made of myself.
My (worldly) father, in his old house, took the century-old clay render off the wooden wattle, threw it in a trough, soaked it in water, stirred it – and thus restored it to a squashy paste, ready to throw back onto the (repaired) wattle. Hence, clay dried solid and crusty can, with water, stirring and time, become soft, shapeable and re-usable, even after centuries of forming a wall. Sometimes it just takes a rebirth in water to make us supple again.
And even clay that has been burned and glazed into china can, after being broken, still be laquered back together into a perfect shape, or maybe even a different, beautiful, unique one, like with Japanese Kintsugi (“golden joinery”) – into a Kintsukuroi (“golden repair”). Only S/he can turn the upbringing we sustained, and litany of mistakes we made over all the years, into something remarkable. We just need to trust Herm and deliver ourselves into Hes hands. The later you start seeking Hers will for your life, the more cracks you will have. But a mere few decades of idiocy is no match for Hers ingenuity and creativity. Which is not to say that we should remain in our stray paths, as foolishness still hurts (Rom 6:1).
In Isaiah 64, the word “because” in verse 7 is בְּיַד “beyad” – literally “at the hand” of our iniquities, we are consumed. The hands are the symbol of the cause and agent, the executors of our thoughts and will. There is nothing better than making yourself impressionable by your Makers loving hands, becoming free in who you were meant to be, at the hands of the One who knows what S/he is doing, how little sense it may make to us at any given moment.
*deliberately using these odd mixed-gender pronouns, because our Maker is not male nor female. In Hers image we are made, male and female (Gen 1:27). Look at the hands of the “Father” in the return of the prodigal son – with lucidity Rembrandt draws one female and one male hand.