By: Dr. D.H. Groberg
Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure's face, my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race. a Childrens race, young boys, 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. Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son, and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire, to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy's desire. One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd, was running in the lead and thought "My dad will be so proud." But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip, the little boy who thought he'd win, lost his step and slipped. Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace, and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face. As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn't win it now. Humiliated, he just 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 that 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 that he had quit before with only one disgrace. "I'm hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn't try to race."
But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father's face with a steady look that said again, "Get up and win that 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 run real fast!" Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten... but trying 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 running anymore! Three strikes I'm out! Why try? 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, you haven't lost at all, for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall. Get up! the echo urged him on, Get up and take your place! You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!" So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit, and 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 like he could 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 another boy who crossed the line and won first place, head high and proud and happy -- no falling, no disgrace. But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place, the crowd gave him a 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 so well." "To me you won, his father said, You rose each time you fell."
And when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face, the memory of that little boy helps me in my own 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. And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face, another voice within me says."Get up and win that race!"
I was very happy to find this story... It reminds me of a lot of special memories.. I remember the first time I heard this story in a Sunday school class... and also very special memories when I was about to share it with friends of mine that I love. It is always a good reminder to me of Our Heavenly Father's love for each of us. He is cheering us on and hopes that we continue to get up when we fall. I remember sharing this story with my mom... and then through the next few months... she would remind me.. Kaitlyn... Get up and win the race. I love all the people in my life that have helped me continue to get up each time that I fall. In the race I am running now.. my mission.. I've fallen flat on my face.... many times.. but there has always been someone around to pick me up. I have had a lot of memories going through my mind this last week of one year ago.. One year ago on this date I was giving my farewell talk. Getting ready to go to the Mission Training Center... It is incredible to me that I am where I am now.. with only so little time left. I am remembering the many people that helped pick me up along the Journey. I love them.. and I love my Savior and Heavenly Father for allowing them in my path.
I wouldn't trade the race I'm now running for anything. I love my mission. I love the people I have met, and will continue to meet. I love change.... I love seeing the change that comes into peoples lives as they find the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
I hope you each remember just how much your Heavenly Father loves you.....A LOT.
LOVE YOU... Sister Pallas