Opps Art

Records: 11/27/2011

Reflections: 01/09/2018

So, this is definitely not a drawing that I am particularly fond of showing off.

Let me tell you the story behind this image.

I was at a home bible study, sitting with friends, as we were praying and asking the Holy Spirit to join us, to be present. This was when I lived in Germany and things were both good and bad. I was really focused on feeling the presence of God. Of knowing He was with me.

So in this intimate moment of prayer, I caught onto the idea of breathing in the Holy Spirit. Of having Him so close that He filled my lungs, that every breath was a renewal of His presence. So I started sketching this picture. To me, it was a woman in surrender, a woman waiting for the Holy Spirit to be near, to be able to breath Him in.

That, however, was not the interpretation my husband gave me later when I showed him the sketch. He definitely got the intimacy part, he just saw a very different act of intimacy. I was so mad at him when he shared what he saw.

Mostly because as soon as he said it, I saw it too. And I couldn’t stop seeing it.

I am not sharing this to inflict my badly drawn quasi-porn on you. I really want to take a moment, laugh a little, and remember that sometimes we swing and miss.

Sometimes we make bad art. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we miss the mark as followers, spouses, parents, children, friends, as whatever we are. Sometimes we feel inspired and energized and excited, and all that inspiration, energy, and excitement only produces a flop.

Or in this case, a—well—something else.

When I have the privilege of teaching, I remind my students that creating art is about the process. It’s about not giving up. That it takes a lot of bad art to produce something amazing.

When their art work isn’t coming out right, or has an unexpected turn, I tell them these are ‘Happy Accidents’ (ironically applicable here). They now have the opportunity to make something different. The art is evolving just as they are evolving as artists.

I usually earn a scowl or two from them because of this, but they keep working at it. They keep going.

I think this is especially important to remember during the new year season. There is so much potential and so much pressure in each new year.  We begin with resolutions, promises, goals, words, empty calendars and new visions. We set expectations of producing better organization, higher achievement, and healthier or sexier bodies.

I don’t think these are bad things, but I do think they can easily lead to disappointment. I think they can set us up to feel like failures if we haven’t checked all the boxes by the end of the year.

So maybe this year, we might allow the process to be our goal. We let the road we are traveling be our destination. We enjoy the journey of walking alongside Christ and we resolve to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Maybe at the end of the year, we can look back and see how much bad art, mistakes, and messy spaces we created. We can see the unexpected gems that we found along the way.

And maybe we can feel successful because we didn’t give up on the process.

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