Something motivates you! There is usually something that drives you forward to accomplish a set goal, or a determined outcome. That “prize” is different for lots of people but having a prize to move towards is what makes us the same.
People make New Years resolutions because they have an end result in mind and have decided to perhaps do something about it. They say, “I wanna be thinner so I’m going to lose weight this year!” They set out to eat less, exercise more and lead a healthier lifestyle. Their prize is to trim down and look better. Nothing wrong with that! Kids start out playing hockey and discover they really love the game. They’re not thinking of becoming a player in professional hockey. They just want to score their first goal or get their first shutout. Grander prizes come to mind as they reach and surpass those minor league achievements and playing for their national team at the Olympics and winning the gold becomes a “thinkable” prize.
Paul the apostle had a prize in mind and he said, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Much like the athlete who skips weekend partying with his buddies because he sees the prize of a gold medal, Paul was seized with the idea of the most noble of prizes, and so he laid everything aside. His statement challenges us to keep our eye on the prize.