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Thursday, August 6, 2009

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--Heartbreak Hill

Elaine S. Dalton, on being steadfast in Christ:


"Several years ago, I had the opportunity to run the Boston Marathon. I had trained hard and felt I was prepared, but at mile 20 there are hills. The locals call the steepest and longest hill Heartbreak Hill. When I reached that point, I was physically spent. The hill was long, and because I was a novice, I allowed myself to do something no seasoned runner ever does—I started to think negatively. This slowed my pace, so I tried to think positively and visualize the finish line. But as I did this, I suddenly realized that I was in a big city, there were thousands of people lining the route, and I had not made any arrangements to locate my husband at the end of the marathon. I felt lost and alone, and I started to cry. I was wearing a big red T-shirt with the word Utah printed on the front in big block letters. As the spectators saw that I was crying, they would yell, “Keep going, Utah.” “Don’t cry, Utah.” “You’re almost finished, Utah.” But I knew I wasn’t, and I was lost. I also knew that even if I stopped running and dropped out of the race, I would still be lost.

Do any of you ever feel like you’re running up Heartbreak Hill and that even though there are people lining the route, you are alone? That’s how I felt. So I did what every one of you would do—I began to pray right there on that marathon route. I told Heavenly Father that I was alone and that I was on a hill. I told Him that I was discouraged and afraid and that I felt lost. I asked for help and strength to be steadfast and to finish the race. As I continued to run, these words came into my mind:
Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.(“How Firm a Foundation,” Hymns, no. 85)

That sweet answer to my prayer gave me the strength to continue on until I crossed the finish line. And despite my fears, my husband was right there and all was well.
That day I experienced more than a marathon. I learned some important lessons. First of all, never wear a big red shirt with the word Utah printed on it. Second, I learned that no matter how well prepared you think you are, there are hills on the course. I learned that people cheering for you along the way are absolutely essential. I learned again that day that we are never alone. Our Heavenly Father is only a prayer away, and the Holy Ghost is within whispering distance" (Elaine S. Dalton, "All Times, in All Things, and in All Places," Ensign, May 2008).

1 comments:

jnkeller said...

Thank you so much! I needed this story today. :) I'm so glad you keep this blog and update it daily. Some days it's the only breath of fresh air I have.