When my granddaughter, Tiffany was learning to walk she would, like all infants, crawl, sit up, and then try to stand. But after trying a step or two she would lose her balance and end up sitting on her diaper. Over and over again she tried to walk. To encourage her to stand, I placed large fruit-shaped magnets at her level on the front of the refrigerator. Sometimes I also placed magnets on the front of the dishwasher to see if she would try to walk from one appliance to the other. Crawl, stand, crawl, stand; plop. I watched her progress as she persevered to get to a colorful toy.
During the time she was learning to walk I had to leave on a ten day overseas trip. When I was finished with my obligations, I decided to walk to the shopping area. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular but just window-shopping. Because other countries sell many things we don’t have in America, this would be a fun excursion for me.
In one of the storefront window displays stood a fourteen inch doll with curly blond hair. She was beautifully draped with exquisitely fashioned clothes. She reminded me of my blond curly-haired grandbaby, Tiffany. Without hesitation, I hurried into the store and purchased the lovely toy. I could imagine Tiffany’s reaction when she would see the beautiful doll. On my way home, I hand-carried the doll through all of the airport security stops and connecting flights.
Arriving home I could barely wait to give my grandbaby the doll – but I had a plan in mind. Could Tiffany walk toward the doll without falling? Her mother Jan and I sat down on the carpet. I placed the toy so that it was standing about five feet from Tiffany. Jan set Tiffany on her feet and encouraged her to walk toward the new doll. The excited expression on Tiffany’s face and her sparkling blue eyes told the story. She kept her eyes fastened on the prize and toddled straight to the doll. Happily she scooped it into her arms.
When the apostle Paul was writing to the Christians in Philippi, it was with encouragement, but he assured them that he had not yet obtained the prize that he was running toward. He states in chapter three verses twelve, thirteen, and fourteen, “Not that I have attained, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of and make my own, that for which CHRIST JESUS has laid hold of me and made me HIS own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made my own yet; but one thing I do (it is my aspiration): forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the (supreme and heavenly) prize to which GOD in CHRIST JESUS is calling us – heavenward.”
Little Tiffany kept her eyes on the doll and never wavered from her desire. From that day on, she dragged the large doll around with her everywhere. She had attained the prize.