So tired now, so near the end
   the race is almost done.
So I reminisce about the day
   when I first chose to run.

The joy of the beginning
   lightning soared through my veins.
Speed was my companion –
   until I felt the pain.

I slowed my pace and struggled on
   and I noticed others pass
Discouraged, I grasped some water
   and sat down on the grass

Once rested, I could run again
   though at a smarter pace.
A few miles more, I tripped and fell,
   scraping up my face.

It was harder to rise again,
   wiping my eyes to see.
I focused on things close at hand,
   like the street beneath my feet.

I wasn’t so invincible
   as I thought at the start.
Doubt crept in and, vision lost,
   my purpose fell apart.

Why was I running this?
   I could stop the hurt right now!
When I saw the hill in front of me
   I felt my courage cow

I stopped at the great hill’s base,
   breathing by gasp and pant.
I shook my head at the hill,
   then exhaled, “I can’t.”

I sat there and crumpled,
   too exhausted to even cry.
Too weary and broken to count
   the runners that passed by.

But One came out of nowhere
   and poured water on my lips.
He washed my face and cleared my eyes
   and healed the wound from my trip.

He took the time to help me rise
   then whispered, “Yes, you can.”
His hand clasped right over mine
   and, urging me, we ran.

We took the hill together
   one step, two, then more.
And once we reached the top,
   I felt like I could soar.

From the top I could see
   the doors that marked the end.
Now I run more joyfully,
   looking past the final bend.

I nearly hesitated
   as I ran through the door.
Then I found myself surrounded
   by the ones who ran before.

A great cheer erupted then –
   my name the cause of this melee.
I slowed my step, stunned with awe
   that these would shout for me.

In the center of the crowd
   was the One with whom I’d run.
Again, He took my hand
   and said to me, “Well done.”