I was trying to illustrate the idol of control for today’s presentation at the youth retreat at Pocono Mountain Bible Conference, and I ended up using one of my favorite projects. Look at the finished product and it looks like a somewhat mediocre cartoon painting of an owl. What it really represents is giving up control.
You see, when I make a painting, I try to control as many variables as possible. I sketch, I research, I have reference materials and I take my time and do the best work I possibly can. With this piece, I invited five students up to the canvas and allowed them to each make a mark on the canvas. I then used their marks to make the finished piece. It’s always tough to see the finished piece from their lines. I usually take a few seconds to pray and then I begin to move paint around the surface. From this piece I originally saw a fox, but then as I began to work the paint I began to see owl, which is what I finally did. Given the parameters of the project, and time limitations, I think it was pretty successful and it definitely proved the point I was trying to make.
The piece illustrates the fact that control is an illusion and that the only thing we truly control is what we do with what comes at us. We do the best we can with what we have and we prepare our skills as best we can to deal with the eventualities of life. Sometimes we have some measure of control and other times we have to play the cards we’re dealt. In all things though we can acknowledge that God is in control, seek Him for wisdom and more forward in faithfulness.
I ended up giving the piece to be given as a prize for some camper competitions and pray it blesses whoever won it.