Tuesday, May 1, 2012


When I first started out on my jogging career,
to a friend I remarked with a smile,
"If I jog every day, by the end of the year
I'll be able to run a whole mile!"

I decided to start at a pace I could keep,
so I'd have something left at the end.
I'll admit it was tough, and those slopes seemed so steep---
how much effort I had to expend!

Not a few of my colleagues thought I was insane,
and they simply could not comprehend
why a person my age should submit to that pain.
"But it's worth it," I'd say, "in the end."

For my heart and my lungs were now functioning well,
  and my weight was where it ought to be.
It was great to feel fit, and my friends now could see
  that it sure had done wonders for me.

Later on I decided to enter a race
just to see how it felt to compete.
I was not too concerned about where I would place;
just to run was enough of a feat.

That experience taught me a lesson or two
that I'll carry the rest of my days:
In the race they call life, do not quit till you're through,
  for the ones who go on earn God's praise.

I've seen people who run with severe handicaps.
I've seen runners much older than I.
I've felt the respect in the cheers and the claps,
when someone in a wheel chair rolled by.

The most wonderful thing about running, you see,
is the fact that you set your own goal.
So no matter how fast or how slow you may be,
to succeed is within your control.

You may shuffle along, even stagger about,
in your desperate fight to survive.
But I'd rather do that than give up and get out,
for a quitter can never arrive.

It's a matter of starting, and doing your best
      to finish each race that you run.
If you stay in the race and trust God for the rest,
      you can say at the end, "I have won!"
(from If I Do Say So Myself, by Richard Stoll Armstrong,
CSS Publishing Co.)

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