Running Our Race

[Written Especially for Young People]

Among athletic games, running a race has from time immemorial been a favorite one. But the Christian Scientist may see in a race much more than a mere pastime. To him it can unfold a deeper meaning by illustrating how singleness of purpose and holding steadfastly to our course are the essentials by which to achieve the mastery over every seeming obstacle, of whatever name or nature.

It is said of a famous runner that he never bothered in the least about his opponents, but was always careful to watch his own steps, and that this habit contributed in a very large measure to his success. On the other hand, the disadvantage of the opposite course was vividly illustrated in the case of a young man who had been the winner of a certain cross-country race for two years in succession, and who again held the lead in this race almost from the start. Half a mile from the goal, he took a backward look and saw his nearest contender about fifteen yards distant—apparently a very safe margin. But he failed to notice that about ten yards farther back another contender was steadily forging to the front. When only fifteen yards from the goal, the leading runner took another look backward. That was his undoing, for he lost his footing, and in an instant the more distant runner had passed him. Taking his eye, his thought, off the goal, though just for a moment, cost him the title, for the other youth, who had had a very poor start and had never before participated in such a race, ran past him to victory.

Does not this point to two lessons? First, no matter what pursuit we may be engaged in, be it studying our lesson for day school or for Sunday school, helping in the home, or joining in games, the only safe and sure way to obtain right results is to do whatever we may undertake wholeheartedly, joyfully, never permitting our attention to be distracted by anything which may be neither helpful nor true. Secondly, it shows unmistakably that, even though we may on some occasion seem to have made a poor start, we should not cease our efforts, but press on undaunted, persistently realizing that all good is ours here and now.

A Prayer of Faith
May 2, 1936

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