Thursday, August 14, 2008

It's okay to fall off the balance beam.

I love gymnastics. I also love the Olympics. This has resulted in me staying up late every night for about a week watching Olympic gymnastics, with a few more late nights to come. Gymnasts fall a lot. They fall when they're learning new skills, they fall when they get tired, they fall even in huge competitions. But look at what they are trying to do. A double-twisting, double somersault or a one-arm swing on the high bar, or basically anything on the balance beam or pommel horse. They are reaching for greatness.

Theodore Roosevelt said "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

President Gordon B. Hinckley encouraged "[Y]ou may make some mistakes. So what? We all make mistakes. The important thing is the growth that will come of activity. . . . Be willing to accept new challenges, and trust that the Lord will help you be equal to them. If you get discouraged, ask for help. But don't give up. As you keep trying you will find that your abilities increase."

We are all going to fall. How grateful I am that the Lord is there to help us get back up. The atonement of Jesus Christ covers our mistakes and our stumbling so long as we look to him, and do what he asks of us. He doesn’t care that we fall every time we take a step, or try to do a double backflip in piked position, what he cares about is that we are striving to better ourselves and to draw nearer to him.

1 comment:

Justin Lee said...

--Theodore Roosevelt quote from:
"The Man In The Arena"
Speech at the Sorbonne
Paris, France
April 23, 1910

--President Hinckley quote from:
A Perfect Brightness of Hope—to New Members of the Church
Ensign, October 2006