Why most men fail and do not finish the race well!
"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 hang my head
in front of failure's face,
my downward fall is broken by
the memory of the race.
And hope refills my weakened will,
as I recall that scene;
for just the thoughts of that short race
rejuvenates my being.
A children's race - young boys, young men,
how I remember it 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 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 they speeded down the field,
and 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.
Amid 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 face."
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 to try again,
ten yards behind the last.
"If I'm to gain those yards," he thought,
"I've got to run very 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 any more:
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 once more,
and with a new commit,
he resolved that win or lose,
at least he would not 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 bigger cheer,
for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last,
with head bowed low, unproud.
You would have thought he'd won
to listen to that crowd.
And to his Dad he sadly said,
"I didn't do so well."
"To me, you won," his father said,
"You rose each time you fell."
And now when things seem dark and hard,
and difficult to face.
The memory of that little boy,
helps me in my race.
For much of life is like that race,
with ups and downs and all.
But what 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 speaks louder still,
"GET UP AND WIN THE RACE."
| "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:7,8 |