Monday, May 16, 2011

To Rise Each Time You Fall

The first video is the best for the majority of the race, the second has a clearer view of the finish.

The Race
by D. H. Groberg

"Quit, give up, you're beaten!"
they shout at you and plead.
"There's just too much against you,
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,
or just the thought of that short race
rejuvenates my being.

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 that race
or tie for first, or if not that
at least take second place.

The fathers watched from off the side,
each cheering for his son.
And each boy hoped to show his dad
that he could 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 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
with hands flew out to brace,
and amid the laughter of the crowd
he fell flat on his face.

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 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 that 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 that race."

So up he jumped to try again,
ten yards behind the last.
If I'm going to gain those yards, he thought,
I've got to move real fast.

Exerting everything he had,
he regained eight or 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?"

The will to rise had disappeared,
all hope had fled away.
So far behind, so error prone,
a loser all the way.

"Get up," the sound echoed 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 his new commit
he resolved that, win or lose,
at least he shouldn't quit.

So far behind the others now,
the most he'd ever been,
still he'd give it all he had
and run as though to win.

Three times he'd fallen stumbling,
three times he'd rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win,
he still ran to the end.

They cheered the winning runner
as he cross 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 bent 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."

My favorite line? "Get up and take your place. You were not meant for failure here, get up, and win the race." We all have a purpose, we are all watched over. Our Heavenly Father is watching over each of us. Perhaps He can't remove the dips along the path that make us fall, perhaps He can't keep us focused on the ultimate goal, but He can quietly watch over us. He can gently remind us to get up, to keep going, to finish the race as best we can. He is our ultimate support. When other onlookers laugh as we trip, He gives us strength. He knows our individual potential, He knows that none of us--not one--was meant for failure. Not here. Not now. No, He wants us to win our race. To get back up, to keep running, to keep pushing, to keep trying. Until we cross that finish line, we must continue on.

And when, in time, we do cross the finish line, we will know that we did everything in our power to achieve our best. When it is all said and done, we can know that the dips did not keep us down, that distractions did not cripple us, and we can know that, despite it all, we ran until the very end. We can know that we won our race.


  1. One of my very favorite works of writing. Beautiful!

  2. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Thanks for sharing that Dania. That's been one of my favorite poems for a long time.