The Gold Man In Your Hands


“Nothing happens…unless you work. It is like a wheelbarrow. It doesn’t move until you get a hold of the two handles and push…and if you have learned to work with real integrity it will bless your lives forever. (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 6 Aug. 1998, Gordon B. Hinckley).

One day during my junior year the coach put all the Varsity wrestlers through a torturous drill called “Nine Minutes”. This drill put a wrestler in the middle of the mat for nine minutes with a new, fresh wrestler coming in every minute to oppose him.  Usually, by the end of the nine minutes, even the best wrestler was getting punished by a less talented teammate. On this particular day I was dressed in triple sweats, the bottom layer was made of plastic. You might imagine how hot your body can get under that condition. I needed to lose some weight for the match being held the next day, so I hadn’t eaten all day. I was feeling particularly weak and sick. When my turn came to go “Nine Minutes” I knew I was in trouble as I began to be shoved around on the mat by the other wrestler almost immediately. I gritted my teeth and fought hard to not get pinned. Each minute seemed like ten till I had but one minute left. I remember wanting to cry, right there on the mat! I could feel the tears starting to form in my eyes but I didn’t want anyone to know how badly I felt. The last minute seemed like forever. I felt like I was going to pass out. I’m sure I looked like a rag doll as the other wrestler pushed and shoved me around the mat that last sixty seconds. Finally it was over. I dragged myself up as fast as I could and walked out the wrestling doors into the locker room. There, behind closed doors, I sat down on one of the benches and I started to cry. I hadn’t been crying long when I heard the door open and desperately trying to wipe my tears away I looked up to see the coach enter the room. I looked down not wanting him to see my moist eyes. He walked over to me, sat down and put his arm around me. And then he said, “Son, someday all of your hard work will pay off, and you will be standing with that “Gold Man” in your hands as a champion. It will all be worth it then.” Well, “that” day didn’t come for another year or so, but it did come! And all these years later it still feels good when I pick up that dusty trophy out of the closet with the “Gold Man” on top. I still hold it tight in my hands.

As surely as “that day came”, I know that a reward will come to all those work hard and faithfully serve and sacrifice on behalf of the Lord. Sometimes in life, you want to break down and cry, quit and give up! Sometimes it feels like your “nine minutes” of pain will never end; but it will! I am convinced that those who trust in the promises of the Lord will someday be found standing with the “Gold Man” in their hands! That day will come, that day surely will come!

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