by Lorel Box
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Anxious to prove himself on the high school track team a young freshman poured his heart and soul into preparing for the first meet. He practiced with his team as well as on his own. With all his hard work and determination his speed increased and his endurance grew.
By the time the first meet approached, he knew he was ready. They would be opposing their rivals at an away meet. Even though he didn’t know the path, he knew it would be well marked and there were guides at each turn.
Soon the call sounded “On your marks, get set, GO!” and off he shot, quickly taking the lead. As the race went on he kept the lead, his confidence growing with each stride. He focused on his pace and watched his breathing. Soon he began seeing himself finishing in first place, a dream come true!
Unfortunately, he ran into a little problem. No, his body didn’t let him down. He didn’t stumble and fall, or get a cramp in his leg. He started focusing so much on winning that he forgot to watch his coach! As he was coming down to the final leg of the race his coach was gesturing wildly and calling for him to turn. But he just kept running!
Suddenly he realized what he had done and quickly turned around and resumed the race. In the few moments it took to discover his mistake and get back on the path, he lost the race.
This poor young man worked and trained with all his heart but lost sight of what he was supposed to be doing. It is so easy for us to do this too. The annoyances and necessities of daily life can distract us from what we know we need to be doing.
The hymn “How Great the Wisdom and The Love” by Eliza R Snow reminds us that “He marked the path and led the way, and every point defines to light and life and endless day where God’s full presence shines.”
Once we have committed ourselves to the life of a Christian we need to watch our coach, Jesus Christ, and never lose sight of the guidance our Savior provides.
By reading the scriptures and going to church, by praying and consciously practicing what we learn, we can stay true to the path. Then maybe we too can feel, as the apostle Paul felt when he said “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8 KJV)