Isaiah 64:8: “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand”(NIV).
My day job is as a medical transcriptionist. Among the doctors I type for are various psychiatrists who administer medications to people. These medications help regulate the systems in the patients’ brains so they can think more clearly, slow down enough to respond appropriately, and overall function better in daily activities. Sometimes, one particular psychiatrist has to administer an additional medication to help “sculpt” the original drug so that it works more effectively, sustaining the benefits for a longer duration, or jump-starting the original prescription’s benefit.
It was brought to my attention last week that I myself need “sculpting” in my life. No matter how much I research a topic, train for something, or gather information, there is always someone out there who has walked the path previously and has more knowledge of the pitfalls, dangers, and traps that I could potentially fall into. I’m thankful for these people who are willing to invest in my life to help me avoid some of the pitfalls they themselves fell into or were able to avoid. I have one such friend who helps me on a regular basis sculpt areas of my life that I can’t see and I feel privileged that she cares enough to help me grow and become my best. Just like the above medication, a friend like this helps to shorten the learning curve, bringing about the desired results faster than if I had to learn everything without the benefit of her experience.
Sometimes sculpting can hurt. Sometimes when we try to help “sculpt” someone else, we also feel the sting, especially if the way it was presented wasn’t appreciated. But, when done in love and with the best intentions, even if uncomfortable, sculpting can produce a far superior quality of life than one which has never been “sculpted” at all. I have found that the more time you invest in someone’s life ahead of time, the less pain and the greater benefit is found when sculpting becomes necessary.
My question to you today is this: Do you take time to invest in others so that when necessary, you can help sculpt their lives, or do you walk around with lots of superficial relationships, never allowing yourself to get close enough to people to make a difference? If you do find yourself in the sculpting process, is it done in love or do you have an ulterior motive? I think God is pleased when we use our talents, time, and energy to help bring out the best in our friends, family, and children, but only when we do it with the type of love that He has for us – looking out for their best interests and not expecting anything in return.
I want to thank those who have helped sculpt my life. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the love, energy, and time they poured into me. And, I, in turn, hope that I have helped to sculpt many others, always meant in love, not keeping track or taking score, just knowing that I’m doing what God would want me to do as we all navigate this well-worn path called life.