By guest author, Amber O'Fallon
With an almost reverent touch, the potter lifted the precious piece of clay and placed it firmly in the middle of the wheel. He'd waited a long time for this very special clay. It would be molded into something wonderful. The motor was purring as it waited, in neutral, for the master's touch that would set it in motion. There's something approaching spirituality in the molding of a lump of clay into something beautiful.
After patting it with a small bit of water to keep the clay pliable as it was worked, the potter reached down, flipped the switch, and the wheel began to turn.
The potter turned and left to get a cup of coffee, calling over his shoulder as he left the room. "Make wise decisions."
As the speed of the wheel increased, watery bits of clay began to fly in all directions. The precious lump, so carefully placed in the middle of the wheel began to spread from the centrifugal force. Soon the main body of the lump dislodged and began to shift toward the outer perimeters of the wheel.
Splat! The clay flew from the wheel, hit the workbench, and plopped into the trashcan.
The potter, enjoying his coffee, heard a noise and rushed back into his workroom. Wet clay residue was still flying from the speeding wheel. The room was a mess.
How had this happened? Hadn't he done everything right? He used the best and most modern equipment. Bought the very best raw clay. He had great love and expectations for that lump of clay. Yet, instead of molding itself into something beautiful, it had fallen into ruin!
Pretty ridiculous, right? No one is that dumb.
So why would anyone expect a tender, pliable child to be able to mold itself into something wonderful? The potter must be present, and hands on for the end result to be a thing of beauty. There's a current trend to allow children to make their own decisions at a very early age, so they'll be able to make wise decisions as they mature. But common sense tells us children don't make good decisions. It's a learned ability, like reading and writing. They have to have a pattern of wisdom to follow and lean on. If they're not carefully molded, they'll fly apart and fall into ruin . . . like that hapless lump of clay.
Children are facing bigger problems . . . fiercer enemies . . . than we did. More than ever, they need a potter.
A good potter. A present potter.