A clean pot

IMG_0026In a kitchen, a really good kitchen, the kind the makes the absolutely best meals, there are many different kinds of pots. Some of them are shiny stainless steel with copper bottoms. Some are thick stainless steel. Some are porcelain coated in beautiful colors. Some are battered, old, heavy aluminum.

And in a kitchen, a really good kitchen, there are many different kinds of uses for those pots. Sometimes the chef uses the best-seasoned frying pan for the house specialty. Sometimes the soup simmers for hours. Sometimes the fat trimmed off the roasts are tossed into a pan where they sit for the day. Sometimes grease is poured into something for days until it finally is tossed out. And sometimes, a shallow pan sits under the baking pies, catching the drips until it is coated beyond cleaning.

It’s the cooks that decide what to use, not the pans. But if the pans could make choices, it’s likely that they’d want to be used by the chef not the clean-up guy, and for the best use they are made for, not to merely carry slop.

So wouldn’t we say to those pans, “Do everything you can to be ready for the chef to use you. Be clean. Be well-tempered. Be on the shelf, not in the back room.” And wouldn’t we say to the pans, “It’s not how pretty your original colors are that makes you useful, it’s being available any time, and it’s being useful when you are used.”

Does this image make sense?

Because it’s an image Paul uses in talking to Timothy about being prepared. Paul encouraged Timothy to be clean, to be useful to the master, and to ready for doing good work. Any good work. Whatever the master chooses.

So here’s to clean, well-worn, useful pots.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

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