A Painting or a Pot?

If you remember the Simon and Garfunkel song, El Condor Pasa, feel free to sing along with my new remix:

I’d rather be a sofa than a cot.

Yes, I could, if I would, I surely could.

I’d rather be a painting than a pot.

Yes, I could, if I would, I surely could.


This may take some explaining (and apologizing to Paul and Art). You young, city folks may not know what a chamber pot is. Think of it as a very small Port-a-Potty that was kept in the houses of people like my grandparents who had no indoor plumbing. It was much better on cold, dark nights to use the chamber pot instead of walking the path to the outhouse. (If you don’t know what an outhouse is, count your blessings!)


Now that you’re up to speed, which would you rather be - a painting or a pot? An online survey found 91% of respondents would rather be a hammer than a nail (which were among the choices in the less well-written original version of the song). I don’t have survey results, but I feel confident that most of us would prefer being a pretty painting on the wall rather than a chamber pot collecting, well, you know.


The good news is: if you would, you surely could. You can choose to be a painting instead of a pot! That’s not exactly how the apostle Paul put it, but the idea is the same. Writing to his younger protégé, Timothy, he said, “In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work”” (2 Timothy 2:20-21). While he didn’t specify what articles served ignoble purposes, I would think a chamber pot would qualify. And a painting would serve a noble purpose, wouldn’t it?


The amazing part is that the ignoble chamber pot, if it would cease its ignoble behavior – get off the floor and stop acting like a pot – could be cleaned up and painted to serve as art on the wall. What an incredible transformation!


I’d rather be a painting than a pot. And, I could, if I would, I surely could!