Farmers in Zentsūji, Japan, carefully cultivate square watermelons, following many years of testing and practice. Why square? So they can more conveniently be stored in a fridge, saving space. Also, this makes them far better for packing to be shipped for export. In other words, a natural watermelon can become square because of the container in which it is grown!
Crazy idea? Perhaps. Yet in some ways it makes sense. So why not?
When thinking of this phenomenon, of moulding watermelons to fit certain perceived needs, some questions come to mind:
What about ourselves? Are we ever tempted to compromise our own standards, to “modify” what we know to be right to fit in with the crowd? Teenagers often fall into this trap, but adults are not immune to this kind of thinking, either. After all, we, too, want to be accepted by others. Sadly, this can be a slippery slope and, before we know it, we find ourselves doing things that aren’t good. We become someone different than who we are at the core of our being.
But maybe the idea of modification can have a positive spin. Just like the transformed watermelons, we can also allow ourselves to be shaped and moulded by God, fashioned into something extraordinarily beautiful.
We are told that when the prophet Jeremiah went to the potter’s house, thousands of years ago, he saw the craftsman working at the wheel. Jeremiah tells us that the pot in his hands was broken and flawed, “so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him” (Jeremiah 18:4).
We can also allow ourselves to be shaped and moulded by God, fashioned into something extraordinarily beautiful. BEVERLY IVANY
The prophet goes on, telling us what the Lord then said to him: “Can I not do with you … as this potter does? … Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand” (Jeremiah 18:6).
Wow. To be shaped, “formed” by our heavenly potter—God—into something wonderful and good and pure and so uniquely special.
The thing is, we have to let ourselves be that clay on God’s pottery wheel. To admit that we can’t do life on our own. We are not to be squeezed into a mould by the world; rather, we can be shaped and transformed into the likeness and beauty of Christ.
As the Apostle Paul said in the New Testament: “Do not allow this world to mould you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing and complete” (Romans 12:2 The Voice).
Rather than permitting the external to mould us and shape us, we can—by the grace of God—be able to live according to God’s will and purpose for our lives, with life-changing results!
Major Beverly Ivany is a retired Salvation Army pastor and a former writer of Words of Life,a daily Bible reading devotional series published by The Salvation Army.