Conflict is a natural, recurring, sometimes playful but most often unfortunate part of human existence. Sometimes the conflicts are contrived, inflated and boast of ego as in this painting about a real-life event when my father-in-law challenged me and my brother-in-law to a match of strength and power. He would reel us in like an award-winning trophy fish before we could paddle in a canoe to the end of the swimming pool. Battle on Old Man, as the war of wit, ego and strength played itself out. The conflict was playful or was it? In the end, no victor arose as it was a stalemate and all had to stop from exhaustion. On to the next conflict, contrived or real in order to prove ourselves yet once again.
This artwork is about the battles and conflicts that we all find ourselves entangled within; real or contrived, playful or in anger, physical or spiritual. Readiness to conquer or to be able to at least defend is of the upmost importance. The ability to navigate clearly, to understand the source of the conflict and most importantly to be in complete reliance upon the source of the power to overcome it is what it means to "be strong in the Lord." This painting is an allegory to utilize the tools and resources that the Lord has given to us to "overcome the dark powers and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." A life preserver sits idly by the side, an indication of how we often inadvertently or even choose to leave behind the very tools and armor that God has granted to us. Am I battling on my own terms or with the armor that the Lord has provided? Success in this conflict is determined on how we use the full armor of God.
Jonathan Millet - artist
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