Am I Straining at the Oars?

Am I Straining at the Oars?

by Janis Cox

Painting by Janis Cox – Experimental Watercolour Course – Process not Product

A few weeks ago I took a full week art course in Experimental Watercolour by Kal Honey at the Haliburton School of the Arts.

One of the quotes Kal posted was this:

Detach from outcome. Commit to process.

I kept thinking about that all week. I am a doer – I look for outcomes. So in my paintings I look to see a pleasant product.

But that week, Kal kept saying, “No, explore and see.”

I fought this. I fought this with every fibre of my being. I didn’t want to watch and explore, I wanted something beautiful right now.

Then I read Oswald Chambers from July 28.

It is the story of the storm in the Bible from Mark 6:45-52.

The disciples are straining at the oars. They have a goal. But their efforts are not producing anything but anxiety.

Jesus appears – walking on the water – and He calms the waves.

Oswald made me really think about my “efforts” – and do I invite Jesus into every moment?

If my life is to learn – then Jesus needs to be in my every moment.
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It is the process, not the end that is glorifying to God (Oswald Chambers, July 28).

What men call training and preparation God calls the end (Oswald Chambers, July 28).

God wants to be in every part of my life. He wants to be in the process.

The words of Spirit of the Living God come to me:

Take me, mould me, fill me, use me
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.


Father, I want to live each moment connected to You. Remind me! Fill each moment in awareness of You – holding Your Hand and inviting me to walk on water. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.



  1. You make me chuckle Jan, everytime I read your posts. Resonates to be sure. Call me when you have time. News to share 🙂

I love to connect with you.

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