Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Sportsman's Prayer

Have you heard this poem before?  As Brian and I and the kids were driving back to Florence from Vegas after a week there for Spring Break, we were listening to General Conference.  I fell asleep several times, but caught some of the words to this poem and loved them.  I immediately grabbed my phone and sent myself a text with the words I could remember, so that I could reference them later.   Today was my day to teach in Relief Society, and as I was preparing,  I searched for the talk that contained this poem.  Interestingly,  after a million searches on and Google,  I could not find it.  I went talk by talk looking for the words of this poem that I had jotted down, but did not find them.  Weird, huh?  So weird.  Maybe the rest of the talk was awful so they wiped away the record of it?  Maybe I was dreaming when I heard the words?  Maybe I needed to hear these words, so they were sent by an angel though Brian's phone (on which we were listening to Conference) straight to only me?  I'm not sure.  What I know is that I did hear these words that day, and I did find the full poem online--so it does exist.   I just don't know how nobody else seems to remember having heard it and I can't find any record of it having been quoted at conference.  Anyway, I love it:

Prayer of a Sportsman

Dear Lord, in the battle that goes on through life
I ask but a field that is fair,
A chance that is equal with all in the strife,
A courage to strive and to dare;
And if I should win, let it be by the code
With my faith and my honor held high;
And if I should lose, let me stand by the road,
And cheer as the winners go by.
And Lord, may my shouts be ungrudging and clear,
A tribute that comes from the heart,
And let me not cherish a snarl or a sneer
Or play any sniveling part;
Let me say, "There they ride, on whom laurel's bestowed
Since they played the game better than I."
Let me stand with a smile by the side of the road,
And cheer as the winners go by.
So grant me to conquer, if conquer I can,
By proving my worth in the fray,
But teach me to lose like a regular man,
And not like a craven, I pray;
Let me take off my hat to the warriors who strode
To victory splendid and high,
Yea, teach me to stand by the side of the road
And cheer as the winners go by.

-Berton Braley

Maybe it's the fact that I love sports and just attended Camp's final track meet for the season; maybe it's having watched my kids play soccer for the last 6 weeks' worth of Saturdays.  Maybe it's just that I love me a good show of sportsmanship.  Maybe it's because I struggle with jealousy and being happy for the successes and fortune of others.  Whatever it is, I'm definitely a sucker for a good sentimental poem and I loved this one.  I'm going to always try to cheer as the winners go by.

Lately I've been making my way through Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling again, and it's hit me how incredibly important the records recorded in journals are to our understanding of history.  

I can't imagine that my blog will be of any import to history in general, but it will certainly be important as a record of my history, right?  And maybe someday it will be important for someone to understand my history.  I don't know.  

For my birthday, Jayne Edman gave me a binder in which to record my spiritual experiences and insights.  So thoughtful, right?  It has made me regret not having recorded so many of these things before and created a desire in me to be better about it from now on.    And doing this is important to me because I want to remember the times the Lord has whispered things to me through his Spirit.   At this point, I feel like it is so difficult to know what is true.  All I really have to lean on is what I feel God has communicated to me.  My truths.  You know?   I want my kids to know what I feel the Lord has tried to teach me.  Here is some of that:

God loves me.  He gives me a million chances and he never gives up on me. 

If I want Brian to be my biggest fan, all I have to do is be his biggest fan.

A lot of weakness and strength can exist in the same person.  A lot of strength and weakness exist within me. 

Not only am I free to love and appreciate the strengths and good qualities of others despite whatever their weaknesses are, but that is God's commandment to me. 

I need to learn to shut. my. mouth.  

I am selfish and I need to learn to think of others before myself. 


Recently,  I had been praying that Heavenly Father would help me to recognize ways to show Brian my love in a way he would recognize and feel.  I had also been praying that the Spirit would speak to me LOUDLY so that I could hear it.  (Why does the Spirit always have to whisper??)  The other night, Brian was upstairs working on finishing the bathroom up there.  Several times, I had the impression to go ask him if he needed my help.  I did not want to help him.  I was tired and anxious to go to bed.  I felt like it was reasonable for any person to want to go to bed at 9 o'clock at night instead of working on a bathroom.  Even so, I kept having the feeling that I should offer my help.  I didn't.    The next morning, Brian and I got into an argument on the phone and during our conversation, Brian yelled, "Of all the time I have spent working upstairs, you have only helped me ONE time!"  I realized then that the impression I had received the night before had indeed come from the Spirit.  Sure it was reasonable for me to have wanted to go to bed.  Sure it was true that Brian had never asked for my help.  Sure it was true that Brian had rarely offered to help with all the work I had had to do.  Nevertheless, I had asked Heavenly Father to show me ways to show Brian my love and he had answered me.  I just didn't want to hear the answer.  


kathy said...

Thanks Ann for the hospitality and love you always give me. I love being at your home. And thanks for the reminder of listening carefully and heeding the promptings from above. I love you dearly!❤️

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