The idea that my life is like clay in the potter’s hands is both wonderful and scary. The scary part has to do with predestination. Jeremiah hears the Lord say that his country is destined for either good things or destruction. What they get depends entirely on God’s plan (Jeremiah 18:1-11). We have no more power over our own fate than a lump of clay does when a great hand chooses to squish it. Is our nation predestined to get involved in another Middle East conflict? Is Ben Bernanke powerless to set our economic sails and bring us prosperity? In my own life, am I predestined to get cancer or Alzheimer's or end up with Tupperware bottoms that don’t fit my Tupperware lids? If life is predestined, why does my dryer keep producing an odd number of socks?
There are worse things than predestination. Our greatest fear as human beings is that our life won’t have meaning. What if the hokey pokey is what its all about? What if we get to our final day and realize that nothing we did, or fought for, or believed, really mattered? We want our life to have a purpose. We want our nation to be a significant force for good on the world stage of current events. The image of God molding us according to a great design is a real comfort. I want to be clay in the master artist’s hands. I need to be called into a meaningful vocation. I pray that the leaders of our country might use their authority wisely so that what we do helps promote freedom, human dignity, and world peace.
Jeremiah also talks about the importance of our choices. The integrity of our hearts and our willingness of repent of wrong doing matters. The Lord says, “but if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring on it” (18:8). The need for us to pray for our nation and political leaders has never been greater.