the quality or fact of being able to grip something firmly; grip.
When I looked up the definition of tenacity, I was surprised. I knew its connotations with perseverance, determination, and the unwillingness to give up. But I was surprised but the formal definition. How does one have a quality of gripping? My hands possess that quality, I suppose, and maybe, so does my heart. I think I was struck, however, by the positive connection to gripping here. It seems like something to strive for, right? You want to grip on tightly to all that is good, and has promise. Doesn’t our society send conflicting messages here too? We are told repeatedly, to let go, have peace, unburden yourself…..loosen that grip on all those things that are not serving you. And then, we turn around and respect and praise someone for having such strength, and the ability to hold onto hope with a gripping force.
I suppose I should back up and explain why I looked up the definition in the first place. Dylan got a full time job offer this week – hallelujah! A full time position, in his industry, moving him in a direction he wants to pursue. He has to commute, and the situation is once again, not perfect. But we move forward joyfully in this answer to prayers. I was going to praise him for his tenacity – determination, perseverance, and the grace to wait for the right position, rather than pounce on anything that could have come his way. It is nice to know God has opened a new door for him, and that we made it through this time. Thank you universe! But I found myself immediately rushing into new what ifs. WHY DO I DO THIS? What if we have to move back to Boulder and I can’t find a new job ( I do not, at this point, want a new job). What if Dylan struggles in this new position? (There are no indicators…. Katie, it’s day two). What if the commute is exhausting and the price of gas gets too high? (likely… but doesn’t God provide as exhibited by what you JUST went through?) I was annoyed at myself and my ability to quickly say, “whew, Thanks God for helping us with this one, but what about all of the other possibilities of things that could potentially be problematic”. Tell me this is human nature, help me remember to, perhaps, loosen my grip.
And so, this week, I also posted a Facebook status about my impending frustration. I posed a simple question, and got some great responses.
My status said this, ” Feeling Frustrated – tell me good things about the world, ready go!”
The responses are beautiful, and I want to share:
Community Cat Coordinator – a position for a non-profit here in town that works with feral cats – I hate cats, so this made me laugh and my friend knew that it would bring a smile to my face.
So thank you to my friends who can encourage me, and remind me that the world is good. I am learning, that this beauty thing, it’s a choice. Every day we can turn on the news, talk to friends, and be aware of tough, heavy situations. But too, I can ask for help, and get pleasantly reminded, that gratitude is where my roots are going to thrive. Thank you for helping me remember what it is important to hold onto, what I should be gripping on to with a force greater than myself, and what I can brush off, and let go, and rid myself of to lighten my load.
I had another conversation with a friend this week who is going through some big, exciting, maybe terrifyingly wonderful changes in her life. We were talking about our blogs, and she shared with me her own definition of beauty that she is zoning in on these days. She left me this image, a quote by Keats, and since I love books, and quotes, and tattered pages, I leave you with this image for the week.
“What the imagination seizes as beauty must be truth”
What are you gripping on to these days? What are you imagining as beautiful? How are you sharing your joys with others?