The pen is blue

Why the clay needs a relationship with the potter

The funniest scene in Liar Liar is this one: Fletcher’s (Jim Carrey) inability to tell a lie is on display when he tries to write the sentence “The pen is red” with a blue pen. Because he can’t lie, the pen virtually takes over his body, writing whatever it wants. “The pen is blue.” Hilarity. Watch it.

Recently I invested in a TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen. Fountain pens are finicky, you gotta clean them, they’re less convenient than a gel pen. But it writes beautifully! I’ve had mine for a month now, and written more in the last month than in the six months prior combined. Like Fletcher’s blue pen, it’s virtually taken over my writing, coercing me to write more and more. I’ve developed a relationship with this pen, which has made me a much more productive writer.

I’ve had this experience before. When I invested in a good guitar, I started writing more songs. When I invested in good gym shoes and work out gear, I started working out (twice). Here’s the principle: To be productive, a creator must develop a relationship with his tools.

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)

We can be used by God, as vessels, instruments, tools. He has invited us to contribute to his mission to redeem the world, co-creators in his work of renewal. He is the potter with the master design, and we are the clay. He’s molding and shaping us, directing and using us, for his glory, to help him create something beautiful: his kingdom.

But in order for the potter’s work to be most productive, he must develop a relationship with the clay.

God is not just the potter, he’s our Father (Isaiah 64:8). We’re not just his servants, we’re his friends (John 15:15). He’s clued us in to his grand master plan of redemption, and we enjoy all the intimacy of sonship, the inner circle privilege of friendship. If you want God to use you for his glory, you must cultivate the relationship that he’s begun with you. Get to know his heart, learn his master plan. Then you’ll know how he wants to use you.