The Race

*In follow up to my last post, I’m glad to share that poem which was so impactful to me.  I am not sure of the source but found that the author is 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 failures 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 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 the 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 whistles blew, and off they went
young hearts and hopes afire.
To win, to be the hero there
was each young boys desire.


And 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 they 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 in 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, not 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 might and mind
to make up for the 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.


Buy in the laughing crowd he searched,
and found his father’s face.
That steady look that said again,
get up and win the race.


So he jumped to try again,
Ten yards behind the last.
If I’m going to gain those yards,
I’ve gotta move real fast


Exerting everything he had
he regained eight or ten.
but trying so hard to catch the lead
he slipped and fell again.


Defeat! He lay there silently,
all hope had fled away
so far behind, so error prone
I can’t make it all the way


I’ve lost, so what’s the use he thought
I’ll live with the 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 weren’t 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 anew commit.
He resolved that win or loose,
at least he wouldn’t quit.


three times he’d fallen, stumbling,
three times he rose again,
Now he gave it all he had
and ran as though to win.


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 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 now 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, your beaten,
they still shout in my face,
But another voice within me says,
Get up and win the race.


-D. H. Groberg



A righteous man falls seven times and rises again.  Proverbs 24:16

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
Hebrews 12:1,2