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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Race by D.H. Groberg



"Quit! Give up! You're beaten!"

They shout at me and plead.

"There's just too much against you now;

This time you can't succeed!"

And as I start to hang my head

In front of failure's face,

My downward fall is broken by

The memory of a race.

And hope refills my weakened will

As I recall that scene;For just the thought of that short race

Rejuvenates my being.

A children's race- young boy, young men,

How I remember well.

Excitement, sure!

But also fear;It wasn't hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope

Each thought to win that race.

Or tie for first, or if not that,

At least take second place.

And fathers watched from off the side

Each cheering for his son.

And each boy hoped to show his dad

That he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they went-

Young hearts and hopes afire.

To win and be the hero there

Was each young boy's desire.

And one boy in particular,

Whose dad was in the crowd,

Was running near the lead and thought:

"My dad will be so proud!"

But as he speeded down the field

Across a shallow dip.

The little boy who thought to win

Lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself

His hands flew out to brace,

And 'mid the laughter of the crowd

He fell flat on his face.

So down he fell and with him hope-

He couldn't win it now-

Embarrassed, sad, he only wished

To disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up

And showed his anxious face,

Which to the boy so clearly said:

"Get up and win the race!"

He quickly rose, no damage done-

Behind a bit, that's all-

And ran with all his mind and might

To make up for his fall.

So anxious to restore himself-

To catch up and to win-

His mind went faster than his legs;

He slipped and fell again!

He wished then he had quit before

With only one disgrace

"I'm hopeless as a runner now;

I shouldn't try to race."

But in the laughing crowd he searched

And found his father's face;

That steady look which said again:

"Get up and win the race!"

So he jumped up to try again-

Ten yards behind the last-

"If I'm to gain those yards," he thought,

"I've got to move real fast."

Exerting everything he had

He gained eight or ten,

But trying so hard to catch the lead

He slipped and fell again! Defeat!

He lay there silently-

A tear dropped from his eye-

"There's no sense in running anymore:

Three strikes: I'm out! Why try?"

The will to rise had disappeared;

All hope had fled away;

So far behind, so error-prone:

A loser all the way.

"I've lost, so what's the use," he thought

"I'll live with my disgrace.

"But then he thought about his dad

Who soon he'd have to face.

"Get up," an echo sounded low."

Get up and take your place;

You were not meant for failure here.

Get up and win the race."

"With borrowed will get up," it said,

You haven't lost at all.

For winning is no more than this:

To rise each time you fall."

So up he rose to run once more,

And with new commit

He resolved that win or lose

At least he wouldn't quit!

So far behind the others now,-

The most he'd ever been-

Still he gave it all he had

And ran as though to win.

Three times he'd fallen, stumbling;

Three times he rose again:

Too far behind to hope to win

He still ran to the end.

They cheered the winning runner

As he crossed the line first place.

Head high, and proud, and happy;

No falling, no disgrace.

But when the fallen youngster

Crossed the line last place,

The crowd gave him the greater cheer,

For finishing the race.

And even though he came in last

With head bowed low, unproud,

You would have thought he'd won the race

To listen to the crowd.

And to his dad he sadly said,

"I didn't do too well."

"To me, you won," his father said.

"You rose each time you fell."

And when things seem dark and hard

And difficult to face,

The memory of that little boy

Helps me in my race.

For all of life is like that race.

With ups and downs and all.

And all you have to do to win,

Is rise each time you fall.

"Quit! Give up, you're beaten!

"They still shout in my face.

But another voice within me says:

"GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!"





"Run with endurance the race that God has set before you”

1 comment:

Kate said...

What a beautiful, encouraging poem!

Blessings,

Kate