The Racers

Most of us enjoy watching a race, and a student of Christian Science recalls one that was run long ago over a stretch of golden sands beside the blue sea. It was on an afternoon given over to children's sports, and this particular race was for children under seven. Before lining up with the other children, one little girl was taken aside by her father and told to remember four rules: first, to keep her eyes on the goal, the white flag flying far down the sands; secondly, not to pay any attention to the other children or look back to see how they were progressing; thirdly, to take no notice of the applause; and fourthly, not to stop running, whatever happened!

Off they started! Many of the children were swifter runners than that one figure in the blue jersey; but steadily she ran on, untroubled at being the last, and, as could be seen by the tilt of her head, keeping strictly to her father's command not to take her eyes off the goal. Presently, some of the children began looking back to see how fast the others were advancing, and in doing so ran into one another and lost valuable time. Unconcerned, our little friend raced on, evidently remembering the rule to keep running, whatever others were doing. As the children ran, their friends along the course clapped and cheered them on. This seemed to have a more disastrous effect on the racers than anything else, for most of the children turned and waved a response, and in consequence lost ground. Not so the child who, in obedience to her father's rule, paid no attention to the cheers, and who was now getting ahead of some of the other racers. In another moment she had only one close competitor, a popular boy, who had been well ahead from the beginning. But, just as he was nearing the goal, so great was the applause that the little fellow, unable to resist giving an answering wave of the hand, slipped in doing so, and the little girl in the blue jersey ran alone past the white flag. Eagerly her father went forward and gathered the child in his arms. But the little one did not seem at all concerned about winning the race. Instead, she looked happily up into her father's face and said, "I remembered!"

"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Thinking of this race as the spiritual awakening of each one to the realization of his true identity as a son of God, we might well ponder that children's race and the lessons it taught.

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July 8, 1933

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