Atop of our kitchen cabinets, there sits, roughly, a dozen pieces of pottery, including vases, bowls, platters, tea cups and a tea pot. There were a number of years where my wife, Sarah, would go to the annual Little Falls Arts and Craft Fair. Each time that she went, she would purchase some pottery pieces from one vendor in particular. Peter Potter, (yes…believe it or not that is his real name…kind of like Dave “Clutter” on the traffic report…or Sonny Day with the weather). He is very good at what he does and is considered quite the craftsman.
I tried “throwing” a pot in Jr. High…I misunderstood my art teachers instructions…she seemed rather upset. Apparently throwing a pot means something different to artists…what was the big deal…there were already plenty of holes in the old plaster walls. As a consequence, I was required to clean the gray clay off of the wall…and the side of her face. She probably laughs about it now…at least I hope she does.
These purchased pieces of particularly perfect Peter Potter pottery perched on top of our kitchen cabinetry, seldom ever get used. The rare occasions, when they do get put to good use, usually occur when my sister comes to visit and pulls them down to help serve the potatoes and stuffing at Easter. Otherwise…they are primarily for decoration…but they look nice!
About twelve years ago, Sarah surprised me by ordering a shotgun for me as a Christmas gift. I had been salivating over this Brazilian made side by side coach gun for years! Hunting is by far one of my top 100 hobbies and I could not wait to use it. The firearm was on back order and didn’t arrive until spring. The following fall I took it out nearly every weekend and chased grouse around the woods…and managed to kill a few trees.
Finally, one Saturday morning, as I readied myself to pound the brush for birds…I placed my bomber hat on my head, slid into my hunting coat and vest…and stood facing the mirror and did my best Elmer Fudd impersonation…she said, “You have been doing a lot of hunting.”
“Yes! I have…I love using my new shotgun!”
“Well…I guess I didn’t realize that when I gave you the shotgun…that you would actually be “using” it…I thought you just “wanted” it.”
“Why else would I “want” it?”
“I don’t know…my dad has all kinds of guns that he never shoots.”
In Romans 12, we find the Apostle Paul list some “gifts” that are given by the Holy Spirit, gifts such as; leadership, encouragement, mercy, giving and more. Not only does Paul “list” the gifts…he says that we are to “use” the gifts, "...if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."
What the Holy Spirit gives to believers, ought to be used...and not just to set on the shelf to collect dust.
I am thankful for people, like my sister, who help us to use what would otherwise collect dust.
What should you be using?