It's been since I was in college that I last worked with clay, making pottery. I enjoyed it, but I wasn't overly good at it. Vessels would seldom turn out the way I intended them to look. Sometimes they became something entirely different.
A real potter knows what his clay will turn out to be--and it will become that. The Scriptures--especially the Old Testament--have several images of God as a potter. In church this morning, Keith Johnson, co-author of the book A Prayer to Our Father, shared some of the Hebrew images (including ones form Jeremiah 18:2 and Isaiah 29:16).
Isaiah 64:8 says: "Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." A reminder that God formed Adam out of the adamah (the dust, the mess, the ground). We are what is formed. God is the Former. We each of our role (as Is. 29:16 reminds us).
I tried for years to form myself. I doesn't go well; I don't recommend it. The Potter must form us, according to His will. And we can't think we're a finish product yet, because we'll be perfect when we are--and I don't know about you, but I'm nowhere near perfect yet. That'll come the other side of Heaven. Sometimes God has to completely break us to help us become a masterpiece of His work:
"So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him (Jeremiah 18:3-4)."
We must not be afraid of being formed. Only when we let God make us into His design can we be used for His purposes.