Little By Little

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Isaiah 29:16b – Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, "He did not make me"; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"? (ESV)

I stood in line, waiting, waiting, waiting — waiting, but still no movement. The people in front and behind began to huff and puff, and gradually, they muttered various obscenities and moved off. For some reason I was quite happy to wait, having sublimed my frustration in an act of will, out of curiosity to find the cause.

Further down the queue was a young man paying for some goods. "Nothing unusual in that," I thought.

By the time several people had decided to move on, I arrived at the third place in the queue, and could now see the problem. The young man in question was paying for his bill in pennies, from a carrier bag full of pennies. Uncounted, unwrapped, and by the handful, he shovelled them out of the bag and dropped them loose onto the counter. "Sixty-seven, sixty-eight… one pound fifty, one pound fifty-one…" he muttered, glancing at the cashier and me with a certain amount of angst, as he struggled to reach the total amount, still a long way off. A cloud formed and darkened over the cashier, her arms folded.

About three pounds worth of penny and two-penny coins into the event, the cashier announced that she was not going to accept the money. The boy replied: "It's legal tender." Eventually the supervisor came, and decided that they would accept the money, but the cashier was not to place the coins in the till. Six pounds later, I paid for my goods and walked out.

As I walked back to work, I wondered how many of us allow a cloud to form over us that estranges us from God's blessings, because we have been too prescriptive, too impatient, or too blind to receive what has been freely given to us in kingdom currency, little by little, handfuls at a time.

Prayer: Lord, forgive us today for our presumption. We have, all too often, told You, the Potter, how You should be working in our lives and in those of our loved ones, the clay. Lord, we rejoice that You are sovereign in all things and in all ways. You are the One who is able to hold, shape, and care for all of us according to Your greater purposes. We gladly receive what You would give us today. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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