I am a china junkie, I confess.
Do you have cups or plates you rarely use? What happens to those pieces on the shelf or packed away in boxes? While the risk of damage and chipping from use is minimized, they age in time just the same -- only without any enjoyment of them in family mealtimes. So, of what value are they, really?
The passing of time and changing temperatures affect even sturdy, furnace-tested china and porcelain. Cracks appear on the most prized pieces. Their beauty emerges notwithstanding these traces of use and age. Crazing appears as fine, spider-web lines on the surface of porcelain, leaving it with a beautifully crackled finish. Some so-called imperfections can actually increase the value of a piece.
We, too, assume a well-worn patina as we move through life.
There glows a beauty all its own in a peaceful, gentle countenance, a loving voice and a kind gesture, no matter what age we attain. So maybe we trade youthful sparkle for a mature luster. And on the days where we neither feel nor see much gleam on the surface, hang in there. Don't focus on the cracks.
Though imperfect, we still remain more than fit for our purpose in this life.
I do not want to be wrapped tightly...put on a high shelf...packed away safely from light and heat. I would rather be brought into service...put on the front lines...and used up for this thing called life.
I'll take the cracks and crazing, the inevitable chips and dings, and risk the painful breakage that occurs when we live with abandon. Crazing and wrinkles most surely accompany life and experience. May we learn how to age gracefully, and take a lesson from a tea cup overflowing with blessings.
My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life... Psalm 23:5