|"Quit!" "Give up, you're beaten," they shout 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 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 fathers watched from off the side, each cheering for his
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 of
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy's desire.
One boy in particular, his 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 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 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
that 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 going to gain those yards, he thought, I've got to run
Exceeding 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, 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, closer all the way.
"I've lost, so what's the use," he thought, "I'll live with my
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 that race."
With borrowed will, "Get up," it said, "you haven't lost at all,
for winning is not more than this; to rise each time you fall."
So, up he rose to run once more, and with a 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, 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 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 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.
"Quit!" "Give up, you're beaten," they still shout in my face,
but another voice within me says, "Get up and win that race."
Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked
and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope
There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She
I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday
afternoon and I'd
like to stop by for a visit. Love Always, Jesus Her hands were shaking
she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to
I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer." With that thought,
remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. "oh my goodness, I really
anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something
dinner." She reached for her purse and counted out it's contents.
dollars and forty cents. "Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts,
least." She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of
bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk....leaving
with grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless,
felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under
"hey lady, can you help us, lady?" Ruth had been so absorbed in
plans, she hadn't even noticed two figure shuddled in the alleyway.
a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags "Look lady,
got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here
street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda
well, if you could help us, lady, we'd really appreciate it." Ruth
them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and frankly, she was
that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.
like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few
and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight
was planning on serving that to Him." "Yeah, well, okay lady, I
Thanks anyway." The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders,
headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt
twinge in her heart. "Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and turned
down the alley after them. "Look, why don't you take this food.
out something else to serve my guest. "She handed the man her grocery
"Thank you lady. Thank you very much!" "Yes, thank you!" It was
wife and Ruth could see now that she was shivering. "You know, I've
another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth
her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling,
turned and walked back to the street.....without her coat and with
to serve her guest. "Thank you lady! Thank you very much!" Ruth
by the tine she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord
to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him. She fumbled
purse for the door key.But as she did, she noticed another envelope
mailbox. "That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in
She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.
It was so good to see you again, Thank you for
the lovely meal. And
thank you, too, for the beautiful coat. Love Always, Jesus The air
cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.
Right Now -
-somebody is very proud of you.
-somebody is thinking of you.
-somebody is caring about you.
-somebody misses you
-somebody wants to talk to you.
-somebody wants to be with you.
-somebody hopes you aren't in trouble.
-somebody is thankful for the support you have provided.
-somebody wants to hold your hand.
-somebody hopes everything turns out all right.
-somebody wants you to be happy.
-somebody wants you to find him/her.
-somebody is celebrating your successes.
-somebody wants to give you a gift.
-somebody thinks that you ARE a gift.
-somebody loves you.
-somebody admires your strength.
-somebody is thinking of you and smiling.
-somebody wants to be your shoulder to cry on.
Weep Not In Sorrow
Weep Not In Tears Of Sorrow Because I,ve Gone Away,
But Weep The Tears Of Gladness For The Peace I Have Today.
I Know Your Hearts Are Heavy With The Sorrow That You Bare,
But God Has Called Me Home,
My Place Is Ready There.
My Stay On Earth Completed,
My Final Rest Is Won.
I've Received The Richest Blessing,
To Dwell With Gods Own Son.
Penrose Ripperger 1984