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 disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad who
soon he’d have to face.
“Get up,” an echo sound low,
“Get up and take your place.
You were not meant for failure here,
so get up and win the 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 win 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,
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, you’re beaten,” they still shout in my face.
But another voice within me says,
“Get up and win that race.”
Steve Farrar comments before the poem, “All you need to know to pick it up is that it’s the story of a young boy competing in a race he desperately wants to win. He had fallen three times. And each time his dad has urged him to get up and win the race.”
So, no matter where you are or how you think you have fallen, get up! Dust yourself and start again. Keep going. “It’s not over until you win”. Make sure you cross the line with and in the Lord. It doesn’t matter whether you ran, walked, crawled, or was carried across. Finish strong and win the race – it doesn’t matter your position!
Steve Farrar, Finishing Strong: Going The Distance For Your Family (Oregon, Multnomah Publishers, 1995), 23