“A righteous man falls seven times and rises again.”   

Proverbs 24:16

 

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The Race

 by 

D.H. Groberg 

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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 young man hoped  to show his dad 

that he would be the one
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The whistle blew,  

and off they went, 

young hearts and hopes afire, 

to win,  

to be the hero there 

was each young man’s desire.  

  

And one young man in particular

whose dad was in the crowd, 

was running in the lead 

<span style="and thought, 

my dad  

will be so proud. 

   

But as they sped down the field 

across a shallow dip, 

the young man who thought he’d 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; 

all embarrassed, sad, 

he only wished to disappear somehow.

  

But as he fell his dad stood up, 

and showed his anxious face; 

which to the young man so clearly said; 

get up and run 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 his fall. 

  

So anxious to restore himself, 

to catch up,  

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. 

  

But in the laughing crowd he searched, 

and found his father’s face, 

that steady look that said again, 

get up and run the race. 

   

So up he jumped to try again,

ten yards behind the last;

 

if I’m going to gain those yards 

I’ve got to 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, 

a tear dropped from his eye; 

 

There’s no sense in 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

 

I won’t go 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 run 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 a new commit;

 

He resolved that

win or lose the race,

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 he’d win.

 

They cheered the winning runner 

as he crossed the line first place;

 

Head high and proud and happy,

no failing, 

no falling, 

no disgrace.

 

But when the fallen young man

crossed the line last place,

the crowd gave him the louder cheer,

for finishing the race.

 

And even though he came in last

with head bowed low, un — proud,

you would have thought he won the race

to listen to the crowd.

 

And to his dad,

he sadly said,

I didn’t do real 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 strong young man

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 get up when you fall.

 

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“A righteous man falls seven times and rises again.”  

 Proverbs 24:16

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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

 

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