Pie baking, wood chopping, rope jumping, and hoop rolling. Tug of war and the three legged race. It must be Founder’s Day in Walnut Grove. My children’s most requested episode, resembled the junior high track meet I attended today. It’s chaotic with all the events happening simultaneously. Without bleachers, people are standing everywhere. I could barely see my son as he sped by, placing third in the 220.

I’ve never been to a track meet. I liked it. There’s something for everyone. Short distance and long, hurdles, jumping and throwing. The first meet of the season gave off an excitement that loomed in the air. Competition has a way of igniting a fire in the eyes.

Founder’s Day was no exception. Every member of the Ingalls family hoped to win a blue ribbon that day. Ma baked, Pa chopped, Mary jumped and Laura rolled her hoop. Preparation and practice behind them, expectation can be cruel to competitors. No one in the family walked away satisfied. The only blue ribbon won happened without a single minute of practice. A silly race with bound ankles.

The sheer joy of competing together as a team usually renders such results. Laura and Ma battled against the Oleson’s, laughing the entire time. What joy when you hold things loosely, when expectations are nil.

Tobey ran a second event today. The mile. I’ll just say it wasn’t his best race but he finished. We were proud parents. To even try. To walk with his head high because he gave it all he had.

Charles says it perfectly,

“Winning isn’t everything, the important thing is competing and doing your best.”

What are you competing at these days? Is it to win or for the simple bliss of trying? There’s only one first place finisher, but running to the finish line is victory.

1 Corinthians 9:24 – Isn’t it obvious that all runners on the racetrack keep on running to win, but only one receives the victor’s prize? Yet each one of you must run the race to be victorious.¬† -The Passion Translation

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