A man once had a friend who was a skilled potter.
He often went to watch him at work as he molded the clay into various vessels.
One day he asked his friend how he determined what he was going to make.
The potter said he had discovered that when he was rested, he tended to make beautiful things but when he was tired, he made more ordinary vessels for menial uses.
As the potter reflected on this, he concluded that when he was relaxed, he had both the ability to focus and the patience to make something beautiful.
Oftentimes the process of making a perfect object involved crushing an almost completed vase or bowl back into a lump so that he might start over.
Beautiful objects also required that he be much more careful at each stage.
When he was tired, by contrast, he was less able to focus, less patient, and thus more apt to make mistakes and more likely to resort to making items that did not demand such precision.
So it is with our lives.
Building character takes focus and patience, with attention to detail and an ability to be consistent over time.
While God ultimately our potter, we also play the role of potter in forming our own character.
The more stressed we are, the less likely we are to create a character of beauty.
Reputation is made in a moment
Character is built in a lifetime.
My righteousness I hold fast,
And will not let it go, my heart shall
Not reproach me so long as I live