Friday, January 27, 2017


Potter's Kiln, Seagrove, NC
Radiant Crucible, Wrightsville Beach, NC

All of us are subject to the crucible of life at times which forms our character like a blacksmith’s crucible shapes and hardens iron to steel. The extreme heat of a potter's kiln transforms malleable clay into strong vessels. Some call this maturity. David Brooks writes in The Road to Character that there is one pattern that recurs on this road for people; “They had to go down to go up. They had to descend into the valley of humility to climb to the heights of character. The road to character often involves moments of moral crisis, confrontation, and recovery. When they were in a crucible moment, they suddenly had a greater ability to see their own nature. The everyday self-deceptions and illusions of self-mastery were shattered. They had to humble themselves in self-awareness if they had any hope of rising up transformed. Alice had to be small to enter Wonderland.”

I’ve also talked to people who have turned from praying to our creator because their requests never materialized. But we must be careful about our attitude of prayer. Not everything we ask for is provided or arrives on our time schedule. Asking to violate the natural laws of nature that God set in place or violating someone else’s free will doesn’t work either. And I’ve always liked the thought that we shouldn’t ask for an easy life, but rather a strong character.

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