The “New” Pieces of Clay Blog

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Can random pieces of my life somehow find a way to fit together, like a puzzle that solves itself.

This blog is a journey of learning. I learned from my first attempt at a Pieces of Clay blog in 2014-2015, so I’m trying again, but I don’t mean that kind of learning. This time, it will be about learning from life—examining and exploring how the smaller pieces of my life, or any life, can become surprising influences that shape who and what I’m becoming. It will be about actions and reactions. Cause and effect.

Now this is where you might expect me to quote the verse about “the day of small things” or “the mustard seed.” But I’m not after the biblical idea of small things that grow and become big things. That works for the kingdom, but not so much for a person. I’m thinking more about the “butterfly in Brazil” idea of chaos theory. Can the flap of a butterfly’s wing in Brazil cause a tornado in Texas? Small cause, big effect.

Or, for my purposes, can a seemingly insignificant cause—a Scripture verse, a person, a song, a memory, an artifact—have an unexpected and ultimately positive effect that changes in some way the course of my life? Can random pieces of my life somehow find a way to fit together, like a puzzle that solves itself. Can those ostensibly random things really work together for my good? If so, how does that work? Can that be manufactured or managed, or is it an unordered process brought into order by an unseen hand? Is my faith in the owner of that hand an active or a passive influence? Is all of life just a “God thing”? Or, is God just a thing of all life?

That’s where I’ll be headed. And some other places as the unseen hand directs. It’s not especially like me as an INTJ personality type, but I don’t really have a destination in mind or a map for this journey of learning. I’ll be intentional about it, which is like me, and yet I’m not sure where it will take me until I get there, which is not like me. I’ll follow that gentle breeze of the Spirit, the one Jesus said you don’t know where it’s from or where it’s going. That butterfly breeze.

If you join me on this journey, I hope you’ll find it less like a lecture series and more like a travelogue, or a homily, or maybe a motivational or inspirational talk. There will be Scripture, opinions, essays, book and music reviews, and side trips into the imagination. Mostly, I’ll write about four “big picture” categories—faith, life, word, and art. It will be about discovering stories—mine, yours, others’, God’s—and where we fit in them. It will be about discovering how pieces become a part of wholeness. I hope you’ll join me on the journey.