Who Will Sign Your Casket

This past week has been quite eventful for us.  On Tuesday evening, we went to our youngest daughter’s pre-school graduation (which means we no longer have any pre-K kids).  Then on Saturday, we had promotion for our homeschool group.  Our oldest daughter was promoted from 2nd grade to 3rd grade, and our son graduated kindergarten.  As soon as the promotion ceremony was over, we drove across town just in time to get to my sister-in-law’s high school graduation.  Needless to say, it was a long week.

The keynote speaker at the high school graduation was a well decorated marine that was an alumnus of the school.  He spent a lot of time in California while in the service, so he used a surfing analogy to explain the need to be malleable as we mature.  He explained to the graduates how a “shaper” will take a surfboard and shape it into what is actually used in the water.  Then the shaper will sign the surfboard to indicate that it was his creation.

That took me back several years to an experience I had.  When I was in the process of changing careers from engineering to accounting, I spent several months working at a local funeral home.  One assignment I had was to create an inventory system for them, while trying to integrate it with their accounting software.  I spent a lot of time in the casket showroom learning the details of the caskets.  Though most were made of various types of metal, there was a small section of solid wood caskets.  They were beautiful.  The craftsmanship with which these were handmade was amazing.  The detail was very intricate, and you could tell that the maker took great pride in his work.  I was, however, surprised to learn that if you lifted the edge of the lining in the casket, there was a signature with a black sharpie.  It was on every wooden casket.  Like the surfboard, it was the signature of the one who made it.  I can imagine that they would only be willing to sign their name on a casket that they felt was perfect.  They would not be willing to put their name on something that contained obvious flaws.  This is because the quality of the casket is a direct reflection on the ability of the craftsman.  Anything not perfect would be either reshaped or discarded for another.

There is a popular song that is sung at many congregations of the Lord’s church called “Have Thine Own Way”.  One stanza of the song goes as follows:

Have Thine own way, Lord.  Have Thine own way.  Thou art the Potter.  I am the clay.  Mold me and make me after Thy will.  While I am waiting, yielded and still.

I imagine you may have sung those words dozens, or maybe hundreds, of times.  Did you know they are a reference to Scripture?

But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand. [Isaiah 64:8]

Have you ever stopped to think about what those words mean?  When a potter sits at the pottery wheel and begins with a simple lump of clay, the possibilities are endless.  The potter will work for hours to mold and shape the clay into a bowl, vase, cup, or a number of any other vessels.  However, if the clay does not cooperate and form to the shape that the potter is desiring to make, it will either be turned back into a lump to start again or even discarded entirely.  The potter will not put his mark on the final creation unless it meets his expectations.

As Christians, God is our Potter.  He sits at the wheel and works to mold us into the person that He desires.  However, if we are not willing to be molded and shaped into His image, then He will not be willing to mark us with His name, indicating that we belong to Him.  Just like the surfboard shaper will not mark his surfboard unless it is perfect.  Just like the craftsman will not sign the casket he has made unless it meets his standards.

Will you allow yourself to be molded into the Christian that God desires?  Or will you allow personal desires and stubbornness to keep you from being formed into the desired shape?  At Judgement, will God claim you as His creation?

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