The Conversion of Paul
So I run straight towards the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above.
All of us who are spiritually mature should have this same attitude. But if some of you have a different attitude, God will make this clear to you.
Philippians 3 v14-15
Becoming an artist was a struggle. It was always inside me but I found it hard to just put a mark on a piece of paper or a canvas. There was a time when a composition I had in my head would take months to realise and then I would look at it and be filled with horror at the inadequacy of my work and the lack of skill. But this is the artist’s disease, we are always dissatisfied with what we do to some extent. The trick is to learn to let that negativity go and move on to the next piece.
The image above is a very old painting, not expertly rendered but I love it because it sums up my driving force in life. The original painting I had been working had filled me with despair – I had spent months on something only to squeeze paint directly onto the canvas and scrape it all off with a palette knife. This was the moment of enlightenment. The residual image imprinted on the canvas was of a figure in motion moving towards an area of light. Immediately I saw it I started working with more oil paint directly onto the canvas and with a knife, sculpted the image as it appear above. It took no more than half an hour.
I had my epiphany.
From that moment on I knew that if I was serious about becoming an artist I needed to work at it daily even if it was only half an hour. Not doing it for months and weeks was no longer an option. To see it as an adventure. To follow where it led. I had to be diligent and industrious, go to classes, learn more skills and develop, little by little. Most of all it was to be a joyful experience.
That latter was not so easy as, in myself, I felt this overwhelming weight, like I was walking through thick black molasses every time I wanted to do some work. It was the strangest and most unpleasant feeling but my inner determination and my lady running to her door of higher consciousness, as I called the painting above, gave me the inspiration and energy to overcome this weight.
I adore St. Paul. Not everyone does. Not everyone agrees with some of the things he says. But he is my boy and I love him for what he went through and suffered yet continued to do the Work. He was one person but he became another. His old life was transfigured into a new life, through Christ, and the skills he had before and used for worldly matters and for persecution of the church, were utilised anew with the same zeal for Christ in a different way.
My work as an artist developed and is still developing. It is transforming in itself into new things and new ways and new opportunities. The underlying force is transfiguration of the soul and the image above is synonymous with the process. We pass through doors or spheres of consciousness and each time it is a tricky passage but once through the door we have a new world to explore.
Paul left behind the past and focussed on what he was doing in the present. He kept his mind on the goal. Union with Christ and doing, through Christ within. When this happens it is incredible what one person can do; there is an energy and lightness to everything. A feeling of giving of the self not for others’ approval but solely for Christ, to serve Him. The Work – that is the work that Christ wills us to do is more important than any other consideration. It is a joy because we know it will happen whether we mess up or not. God’s Plan is relentless and He weaves in our idiosyncracies and mistakes, as an artist uses the mistake to create something new and something better than they had thought of originally.
So God bless St. Paul for his total commitment, even after imprisonment and many beatings and near drownings. He kept his focus on the goal. May we all learn to do the same to bring something brighter into creation.
Pax et bonum
This entry was posted on January 25, 2013 by apocalypseicons. It was filed under Apocalypse Icons - art and meditations, Ruminations, Ten Top Tips for Spiritual Evolution and was tagged with art, Christ, conversion, epiphany, Higher Consciousness, religion, spirituality, St. Paul, theology.