Keep a Steady Grip


I’ve always dreamed of having beautiful, even handwriting. On numerous occasions, I’ve purchased worksheets and handwriting guides to try to learn how to make the perfect loops and weaves of a sophisticated cursive. After 29 years of life, one of my great, personal disappointments is that for all of my practice, I have never been able to write a paragraph of text in a consistent type. About 4 or 5 words in, the handwriting mysteriously changes to a harsher, sharper type… and then, a few words later, returns to it’s original glory, but a few words more, changes again…

I could never figure out why I couldn’t master this skill…until tonight.

While writing one of these choppy, uneven paragraphs, I began to watch myself write, pen on paper, and I noticed that every so often, my muscles would fatigue, and I would ever so slightly lift the pen and adjust my grip. I did this about every 4-5 words, and it was in these places that my handwriting began to change. It was the change in grip that was causing the change in penmanship. I tried writing without changing my grip – pushing past the muscle fatigue - and sat in shock as I gazed upon a page of perfect loops and even weaves. After 29 years of trying, here was the secret to beautiful handwriting: keep a steady grip.

Fascinated by this revelation, my mind began to make mental connections. I could see how many areas of my life mirrored this pursuit of perfect penmanship. Each new diet & exercise plan or prayer routine was a specific grip and the writing that appeared manifested as my behaviors and habits. They started beautiful and organized, but at the slightest discomfort, I would adjust my grip and the resulting habit would change. When looking back on my habits, rather than gazing at a neat and beautiful page, I saw choppy, uneven and irregular phases of differing routines and practices.

The lesson tonight for me is summed up in the phrase: keep a steady a grip.

For 29 years I’ve thought that I had poor handwriting because the pages were always uneven. But this isn’t true. I’ve got great handwriting…when I keep a steady grip. I thought the perfect, healthy body could never be uncovered within me, but that’s not true. That person is there….if I keep a steady grip on my nutrition and exercise choices. I thought the saint that God is calling me to be was far off in the distance and outside my reach, but that’s not true. All of the ingredients to meet her are already present within me…if I just keep a steady grip on my prayer life and daily abandonment to the Divine Will. The potential for beauty already exists within me, if I push through the discomfort and keep a steady grip.

My prayer today is this: Lord, grant me the graces of a steady grip.