Remember opening a new can of Play-Doh? The first thing most of us remember about the childhood delight is its smell. It was a can of colorful fun, a rite of passage for our little hands–and noses! The soft, unusually-scented, brightly colored doughs were fun to form into shapes using our mother’s cookie cutters.
Play-Doh came about by accident during changing times. In the 1950’s, coal furnaces were being replaced with gas or electric models. Not only were they much more efficient, but cleaner. No more coal streaks on the wallpaper that graced many homes. Kutol, a company formed in 1912 that created a soft compound used for wiping the sooty residue from wallpapers, was sure to be run out of business with the dismantling of the mighty coal furnaces in most basements in post-war America. It was company principal Joseph McVicker’s sister-in-law, a nursery school teacher, who saved the day—use the non-toxic clay as a toy for children to create with. Call it Play-Doh.
It was a joy as children to be in control, to create at will: “I can make anything with Play-Doh,” a 1975 advertisement proclaimed. The bible says that we are all the creation of God, molded like clay in His perfect Hands for the purpose He has chosen:
Yet, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our Potter, And we all are the work of Your hand. Isaiah 64:8
The beauty of having a loving Father as the Potter of our life is that when we trust in Him and let Him mold us, there is never a mistake. At times it may feel as though we are being kneaded and chiseled into something we don’t understand and we may feel apprehension or resistance. This is the time to trust the Potter because there is no safer place to be than in the Hands of God.