Monday, September 10, 2007

Getta Grip

From movies to classrooms; from the banter of friends to the snarl of an enemy, how often do we hear the admonition: "Get a grip!"? For as long as I can remember it's been a well used and now well-worn term, yet in these interesting times it surfaces as an altogether new and worthy bit of advice.

What, exactly, do we mean when we tell someone to get a grip? Obviously it's in response or reaction to something they are doing or not doing, and much of the time it even carries a derisive tone. It's as though the advice is offered to those we think aren't coping well. Perhaps they aren't. But how is it, exactly, that they're to get this grip? And what, exactly, would they be holding onto when once the grip was got? I guess it only seems logical, at least as I perceive it, that we ought to tell them just how to go about the thing we think they ought to be doing.

This may be a quantum leap to some, but another question comes to mind: What is truth? Maybe you're asking: How does truth relate to grip? Good question. Now I have to decide whether to give the long version or the short version...

OK, here's the semi-short version. Today there are more people than not telling me (and you) that truth is relative. Really? Or that perception is reality. Really?

Well, beginning from that premise then, let me say that my perception is that you cannot grip something that doesn't exist or isn't real. For that matter, you can't believe something (or someone) that isn't true unless you're willing, of course, to admit you're given to delusions, or have difficulty distinguishing between fact and fiction. So, in order to get a grip it only stands to reason that one must reach for the real (aka truth). Otherwise why reach at all?

I'm going somewhere with this. Trust me. In keeping with my short version promise, I must offer the one and only truth of which I am certain: Jesus. I know, I know ... that probably offends some of you. But no one and nothing on this planet or anywhere else that I know of ever claimed to be Truth. Not a truth-teller; not a true human; not just true to himself - but T-R-U-T-H personified. Moreover, for the person longing to get a grip, He even promised to never, never, never let go of us when once we accept the extended hand He offers.

Before you laugh this off as preposterous, or write me off as a nut-case, consider just who or what else people might actually reach for in order to get a grip. I've lived long enough to attempt a few of them myself - from positive thinking, to employing time-management skills, to counseling - all good things. On the not-so-good side, there's alcohol, or sex, or work, or emotional imploding. This is hardly an exhaustive list, for truly there are as many ways to get a grip as there are people. But either way, good or harmful, the process of gripping can be fairly short lived given the fact that the thing gripped is often slathered with butter - not at all what it seemed. Some may, in fact, be a cleverly disguised lie.

Bottom line - when you really need a grip, only the truth will do, and only Truth will respond with a grasp you can trust. No derision. No slippage.

Getta grip.