Masterful Timing: From Clay Pot to Fine China

Posted by in Practice

I listened to a symphony in my car last week, amazed at the conductor’s ability to place a chord at a point in time much later than I expected, but exactly where it belonged. At the height of my anticipation, he waited still. This timing forced me, as the listener, to let go of all control and wait for him to show me where the sound needed to be.

The ability to wait until the exact moment arrives is a hallmark of a master. Whether a master dancer lowers her arm at the right speed to end well, a musician places a final note in his bed of color, a painter sees when to stop, an intercessor listens for a word from God, or a writer struggles for the perfect word, greatness is not afraid to wait for what feels like too long.

As I drove home that day, radio blaring, I realized that masterful timing is what turns a clay pot into fine china, a mediocre musician into an artist, a writer into a best-selling author. We wait and wait for dreams to come true, for God to move, for problems to be resolved, for the right gig, as if the wait were an inconvenience, an irritation. Pressure builds. Our temperature rises.

But in the kiln, fine china needs a higher temperature than clay pots; it becomes impermeable. For us, the restraint we exercise in the wait turns the heat up. We become impermeable.

All eyes may be on us, but if we allow fear to rush us, we will remain clay pots, given to soak up whatever doubt and negativity passes by.

Rather, wait. Take the heat. Become impermeable. Trust the Master’s timing. Then you will serve before kings.

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